Ray High alumna to serve as U.S. Foreign Service officer

Courtesy photo Ray High alumna Paula Crawford will serve as a U.S. Foreign Service officer in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

In a few months Paula Crawford will embark on her new career as a U.S. State Department Foreign Service Officer in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

“Foreign Service Officers serve as diplomats in United States embassies and consulates throughout the world every two to three years. We all must have worldwide availability, meaning we could be sent anywhere in the world throughout our careers,” Paula said. “I am excited to have been assigned to one of my top choices. More importantly, I thank God for all of the opportunities He’s given me and the community that has supported me each step of the way. I am thrilled to represent the United States and give representation to rural Arizona and our Copper Communities.”

Paula spoke of the importance of diverse representation within the U.S. State Department, which has been traditionally dominated by men from the major east coast cities.  In 2017 Paula received the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship, which aims to enhance the excellence and diversity of the U.S. Foreign Service. Through this fellowship, she completed her Master’s degree in International Security Policy last year from Columbia University in New York. 

Paula previously worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City focusing on migration issues, completed a Fulbright Award in North Macedonia and worked in Kosovo enhancing economic development for marginalized communities. 

Most Foreign Service Officers serve as consular officers during their first tour. As such, Paula is currently in extensive training in Washington D.C., learning the trade of consular work such as visa adjudication and challenging matters like U.S. citizens who are jailed or pass away abroad. After she completes her tour in Mexico, Paula hopes to have the opportunity to work as a political officer in East Asia.

Paula graduated from Ray High School in 2009 and received her Bachelor’s at Arizona State University in 2014. She speaks Albanian and Spanish. She is the daughter of Dr. Jeff and Julia Crawford of Kearny, Arizona.

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