Lydia Grate has been selected as one of 30 Foreign Affairs Campus Coordinators by the U.S. Department of State. The Foreign Affairs Campus Coordinator Program is designed to create a network of State Department student contacts on college campuses across the nation.
Grate spent her summer working virtually with the U.S. Department of State, Office of International Visitors. She conducted a best-practices evaluation of virtual programs, developed a digital resource library and wrote project impact reports that were distributed to U.S. Embassies across the world.
This fall, Grate’s Capstone project will be completed in partnership with the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Island Affairs.
“My exposure to the world was quite limited until I graduated from college,” Grate said. “As I traveled and learned about international affairs, I wondered why I didn’t know about these things sooner. This is my chance to help students like me, by sharing State Department opportunities and providing direct access to diplomats, as well as other State Department officials.”
In an upcoming event, Grate and Nathan Bland, Diplomat in Residence for the Central South (Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi), will host a virtual information session in advance of the Department of State’s summer internship application period. Current and former State Department interns will participate to share their experiences and advice.
Grate coordinated two information sessions with students in September and plans to host more between now and May 2022, including an overview of career opportunities domestic and overseas with the U.S. Department of State. She would like to provide virtual information sessions for universities throughout Arkansas based on their needs and interests.
“The Clinton School curriculum has allowed me to pursue my interests in international affairs and provided research and evaluation skills that I relied on during my summer internship,” Grate said.
Grate was the 2020 recipient of the Little Rock Nine Foundation scholarship at the Clinton School. In the summer of 2020, she was one of 39 women selected nationally as members of the 2020 B.A. EmpowHER cohort, a program created by the B.A. Women's Alliance for women who are bold, unapologetic, and ready to spark change.
A native of Russellville, Ark., Grate is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and a graduate of Arkansas Tech University with degrees in broadcast journalism, public relations, and speech communications. She has worked in six countries: Togo, The Bahamas, Dominican Republic, France, New Zealand, and Australia, and speaks French as a second language.
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.