Jacob Mecum

2011 Rangel Fellow
Foreign Service Officer

As a member of the Coquille Indian Tribe, Jacob has always been interested in culture, history, language and international relations. Spending time on the reservation in Oregon and living and working outside of it sometimes left him feeling as though he lived between two different worlds. “The Rangel Program and the Foreign Service provide me with the opportunity to study other cultures, religions, ideas and political opinions; to bridge the gap between these two worlds.”

After graduating Portland State University in 2009 with a degree in Criminal Justice and working for a few years, Jacob realized that a career as a Foreign Service Officer would provide him the greatest opportunity to succeed in his commitment to public service, to his family, to his tribe and to the United States. Jacob believes that many of our international issues and conflicts today come from a lack of knowledge about differences in culture, religion and political beliefs. “As a Foreign Service Officer, I hope to help build, within the international community, an increased capacity for civil dialogue and cooperation, and to instill a desire to learn of and understand other cultures.”

Jacob recently completed his graduate studies at American University’s School of Public Affairs and entered the Foreign Service. He is currently serving as Political Officer iin Zagreb, Croatia. Jacob believes that the Rangel Program and the Foreign Service understand the value of diversity and hopes that his presence as a Native American Foreign Service Officer will help to open the door of this career for other members of his tribe to follow. “I wholly believe in and understand the quality of ideas, thoughts and values Native Americans can contribute to the international community.”

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