Content Block Preview: Bios (9:15am) [email protected]: Pathways to Federal Service
[email protected]: Pathways to Federal Service
Camelia Valldejuly is a staff assistant in the State Department’s Office of Management Strategy and Solutions (M/SS). As a contractor for the Consulting and Advanced Projects (CAP) directorate in M/SS, Valldejuly directly supports CAP’s managing director and provides general office and project management support. Previously, she was a program assistant in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Valldejuly worked on INL’s Caribbean team, offering programmatic support for foreign assistance programs that build partner nation capacity for law enforcement, counternarcotics and justice. Valldejuly is the current chief of staff of HECFAA. Before joining the State Department in 2019, she was a program associate at the Center for a New Economy think tank based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Valldejuly was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and she received a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University in 2017.
Mignon Turner Houston has served as a U.S. diplomat for 15 years. She is currently the Diplomat in Residence in Miami, Florida, recruiting for the State Department in southern Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
As a U.S. diplomat, she has worked abroad promoting U.S. foreign policy and partnerships. She has served in the U.S. Consulate in Cape Town, South Africa; the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines; the U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon; and the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico. Domestically, she worked in Washington for the Office of the Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, as well as for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Based on her Spanish and French language abilities, she has served two temporary duty assignments in Madrid and in Libreville, Gabon. She received her undergraduate degree from Winston-Salem State University in 2004 as a double major in Spanish and mass communications, and her master’s degree from the University of Delaware in 2006 in urban affairs and public policy. She grew up in North Carolina and is married, with an infant son named Atlas.
Annika Betancourt currently serves as senior desk officer for Peru in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the State Department. She recently concluded the Council of Foreign Relations’ International Affairs Fellowship at the Brookings Institution, focusing on confidence-building measures between the U.S. and North Korea. Previously at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, Betancourt managed $80 million in rule-of-law programs as the deputy team lead in the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Section. While on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea desk in Washington from 2016 to 2018, Betancourt played a critical role in the release of University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier from North Korea and the subsequent release of three other U.S. detainees. Betancourt also served as a consular officer in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and as an economic officer at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, during the tumultuous “Grexit” summer of 2015. Betancourt has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University. A proud Colombian/Japanese American and first-generation college student, as current president of the Pickering and Rangel Fellows Association, she leads the organization’s efforts to increase diversity and inclusion broadly at the State Department. She speaks Spanish, Korean and Portuguese.
Eduardo Belalcazar joined the State Department as a Spanish Consular Fellow in 2020. He is a proud, gay, inner city, brown Latinx from Houston, with family roots in Honduras and Colombia. Belalcazar is currently assigned to the U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana, Mexico, where he works in the American Citizen Services Unit and serves as the glifaa post representative. He received his bachelor’s degree in international relations and global studies from the University of Texas at Austin, as well as certificates in business foundations and human rights and social justice. As an undergrad, Belalcazar received a State Department Gilman Grant to study Spanish and social justice in Nicaragua, as well as a Boren Scholarship to study Portuguese and racial justice in Brazil, which cemented his desire to become a diplomat. In addition to being part of the Hometown Diplomats Program and Volunteer Recruiter Corps, Belalcazar serves as president of his high school’s alumni association, where he focuses on raising funds for scholarships for high-achieving students from Houston.
David Tagle is a first-tour, political-coned officer currently serving as vice-consul at U.S. Consulate General São Paulo. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, David worked as a civil servant in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA), which he joined in 2016 as a Presidential Management Fellow. As a civil servant, Tagle most recently served as the Honduras desk officer, and prior to that, as a WHA staff assistant. His previous assignments include tours in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor’s Global Programming Office, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Mexico desk, and in the INL Section at the U.S. Embassy in Honduras. Before joining the State Department, he worked for a Washington-based democracy and governance nongovernmental organization on human rights programs in Cuba. Tagle received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Brown University and a master’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University.