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Foreign Service

Alumna Leah Pease - Pepperdine University


Foreign Service Officer
U.S. Department of State
Washington, District of Columbia

MPP, Pepperdine University, 2001
Double Specialization: American Politics and International Relations

BA, Spanish and Social Science,
Harding University, 1997

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy was ideal training for a career in the Foreign Service. Whether serendipitous or planned into the curriculum, the first-semester core courses were the best study guide available for taking the Foreign Service written exam. The second and more difficult part of the Foreign Service entrance exams is the oral exam. Essentially, successful candidates are those who demonstrate sound decision making and can successfully defend their stance on a given issue under various degrees of pressure. I can think of no better arena in which to prepare for this type of exam than in the classrooms and corridors of the School of Public Policy.

Daily at Pepperdine I was challenged to back up my policy decisions or ideas based not only on careful economic analysis, but also on my belief system and ethical principles. The program challenged and taught me not only to always ask the big questions, but to defend them succinctly and soundly. In my career with the Department of State, I regularly face situations which require quick decision making and articulate defense of my decisions.