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Saturday, November 16, 2019

Success Stories

Homa Hassan: 2014 PMF

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The PMF experience has fundamentally changed my life.  As a PMF at the U.S. Department of State's Office of Foreign Assistance Resources (OFAR), I have had the opportunity to work on behalf of the Administration, crafting and defending the U.S. foreign assistance budget, and seeing firsthand how American tax dollars are being invested around the world.  I have learned how money flows throughout our government-from request to appropriation-with special attention to the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Serving as a Foreign Affairs Officer and a public servant in this capacity has shown me diplomacy and development in action, the impacts of our strongest non-military form of defense at its best. 

In 2015, I served as a Program Examiner at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in the International Affairs Division. I took my experience in OFAR to a different level, seeing my work from a higher policy and decision making level from within the Executive Office of the President. I coordinated the execution of deliverables for Congress, drafted Statements of Administration Policy and letters to the Appropriations Committees, and helped write talking points and briefing material for the OMB Director.

In 2016, I took on a wholly different role at the Consulate General in Jerusalem as an Economic Officer, perhaps one of the most rewarding professional experiences of my life.  My portfolio included working on issues like entrepreneurship, gender, education, science, technology, health, tourism, and water. Working under a supportive and inspiring supervisor, I found a degree of autonomy in my work that allowed for a full, hands-on immersion experience as a representative of the U.S. government. My day-to-day duties took me all over the West Bank of Palestine and Israel-from government-level roundtables on trade issues with our ambassadors and businessmen/women to field trips with the Ministry of Agriculture to observe and discuss farming best practices. In Jerusalem, I felt like a true public servant on behalf of the American people.

The PMF Program has opened up professional and personal doors for me I could not have even imagined were available years ago when applying to the fellowship. I am certain that its influence on my life is not an anomaly.