Are you interested in joining the U.S. Foreign Service?
On April 26th, BPIA will gather four Foreign Service representatives from various departments and agencies to educate BPIA student members and the broader public in U.S. Foreign Service career opportunities. After providing an overview of careers available in their sectors, the panelists will answer questions from the audience about their professional experiences and potential career opportunities.
Yolonda Kerney joined the U.S. diplomatic corps as a Foreign Service Officer in 2004. She served as Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Mission to Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean, and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica; Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Cameroon, and Economic Officer and Chief Consul at the U.S. Embassy in the Republic of Guinea. Dr. Kerney is a proud alumna of Howard University from which she earned undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees in music history and literature, and religious studies.
J. Nathan Bland is a career Foreign Service Officer with over fifteen years of experience in a wide variety of areas with the U.S. Department of State. His most recent assignment was as an Assistant General Services Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, serving as the Embassy’s primary Contracting Officer and overseeing logistics for VIP visits. Prior to that, he was the Political, Economic, and International Narcotics Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize. Nathan graduated from Seton Hall University’s School of Diplomacy and Relations with an M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations and an M.A. in Asian Studies.
Alexious Butler is a career Foreign Service Officer with the United States Agency for International Development. In 2019, Ms. Butler completed a four-year assignment to Haiti Mission where she served initially as the Democracy, Rights and Governance Office Chief and then moved into the front office to serve as Deputy Mission Director (DMD). Her DMD portfolio included the Offices of Foreign DIsaster Assistance, Economic Growth, and Agriculture, Food for Peace, and DRG. A native to Atlanta, Ms. Butler worked in the private sector for almost 10 years as a public relations specialist for a variety of clients including Bayer Pharmaceuticals, McDonald’s, Nestle, Coca-Cola, and the World Bank.
Rhonda Sinkfield joined the Foreign Commercial Service (FCS) in 2013 and has served in Shanghai, Johannesburg, and currently in Washington DC as a desk officer in GM Asia. She is is the inaugural Chair of the recently formed International Trade Administration's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council. Rhonda has nearly 20 years of experience in consulting and public policy in various roles at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Deloitte Consulting and Financial Advisory Service, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, General Dynamics, Western Cape Department of Economic Affairs in South Africa, and Japan External Trade Relations Organization. Rhonda holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Clark Atlanta University and a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University. She recently completed the International Trade Administration’s Leadership Development Program.