BW Experiences Help Shape Grad's State Department Career

December 15, 2014

Kimberly Coniam ’07, a Foreign Affairs Officer for the Office of Missile Defense and Space Policy at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C., is thriving in an amazing career in national security and space policy, traveling the world from South Africa to Vietnam, working to improve the security of outer space.

A graduate with majors in both political science and international studies, Coniam says she first became passionate about national security writing her first academic research paper for a class taught by Dr. Morales-Ortiz. Coniam says this experience eventually led to a yearlong internship at the U.S. Department of State where she was able to apply her research to real world situations.

Participating in BW's Model UN and studying various international organizations also helped the Berea, Ohio native to further develop an interest in foreign affairs. "I can better navigate in an often challenging multilateral setting because of those experiences," she says.

Coniam, who also earned a master's degree at Indiana University, says the opportunity to study abroad twice, first to China and then to Japan, not only reinforced her strong interest in U.S.-Asia relations, but also played an important role in her selection for the 18th class of Mansfield Fellows. The government fellowship program allowed her to work within the Japanese government for a year. "I know the adaptability and independence I gained from my study abroad opportunities contributed to my success."

Coniam adds that "the most crucial [factor] in shaping me and leading to my success" was the mentoring of Dr. Judy Krutky who "pushed me to always expand my interests, try new things, and never settle; under her instruction, I was taught that it is important to try something new and do something unexpected, and that often these new experiences will be the most rewarding."