Politics and international service have been consuming interests for Greg Pardo, a native of San Antonio, Texas. With a degree in political science and international relations, Greg volunteered for a non-governmental organization in Bangladesh for two years after college.
Experiencing the political riots and subsequent suspension of elections in 2006 and 2007, he recognized the strong interest the United States has in promoting peace and stability around the world. His desire to be part of that effort attracted him to the Foreign Service. He turned to the Rangel Program to make his goals a reality.
“The Rangel Program is right for me because it has given me the opportunity to learn more about the ways Congress affects the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy. The Rangel Program has also shown me the various facets of diplomacy through presentations on trade and NGOs. More importantly, the Rangel Program has connected me to a network of experienced FSOs who are more than willing to guide me during my preparation for the State Department.”
As part of his fellowship, Greg worked for the Chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and Global Environment in summer 2008. In the summer of 2009, Greg was the only intern at the U.S. embassy in Rangoon, Burma during the high-profile trials of Myanmar opposition leader (and Nobel Peace Prize winner) Daw Aung San Suu Kyii and an American citizen who had visited her compound uninvited, sparking the detentions. Because these trials generated enormous international interest and condemnation, Greg was able to support the Embassy’s efforts to cover events in Rangoon. While he was the only intern, he was not the only Rangel Fellow – he worked with Chelsia Hetrick, a 2005 Rangel Fellow serving as a Foreign Service Officer in Rangoon. “I realized that democracy building is a long and challenging task that requires patience and commitment,” Greg said.
After completing both of his internships, Greg received his master’s degree in public affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School at the University of Texas in Austin and joined the Foreign Service in the summer of 2010. He is currently working as the assistant to the U.S. Ambassador in New Delhi, India after a first assignment in the Office of Cuban Affairs in Washington, DC. As a Foreign Service Officer, he hopes not only to contribute to U.S. foreign policy but also to correct misconceptions about America. In representing the diversity of America, he hopes to show people around the world “a side of the U.S. they did not know existed.”