Joshua Bartlett: 2015 PMF
My PMF journey gave me the rare opportunity to apply the general and specific skills that I learned in the Peace Corps and the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and was able to work on policy issues in countries that I cared deeply about, which in turn made me a more committed civil servant. It also prepared me well for my transition to State Department’s Foreign Service.
The International Trade Administration’s Timothy J. Hauser PMF program helped me learn about all aspects of export promotion and to land my dream position with a caring and compassionate team. I served as Desk Officer for the Caucasus and Central Asia, applying the Azerbaijani and Russian I learned in the Peace Corps under the watchful eye of my PMF Mentor, Danica Starks. A PMF herself, Danica is a testament to the incredible careers that Fellows can attain in government service.
Despite finding a new home in Washington and ITA’s Office of Russia and Eurasia, after four years I felt the familiar itchy feet that pushed me to study abroad in China and intern in Venezuela. I accepted a Foreign Service offer in 2019 and moved to Namibia to work on human rights and poaching issues. My time in the PMF program taught me about Washington and the interagency, which helped me frame my reporting abroad in the language of the beltway. I will be moving to Istanbul for my second tour and look forward to fulfilling tours in Washington and abroad.