My name is David Bartholomew and I am a 2013 alumna of Iowa State University, where I majored in Political Science, History, and International Studies, and minored in Spanish. Initially planning on becoming a high school teacher, inspiration from my professors quickly piqued my interest in foreign policy. I later worked as a teaching assistant for Dr. Nell Gabiam’s class, Politics of the Middle East, and a research assistant focusing on development projects in the West Bank. Wanting to also take full advantage of the amazing extracurricular opportunities offered at Iowa State, I served a senator on the Government of the Student Body, president of the ISU Model United Nations team, and a political reporter for the Iowa State Daily, among others. During the summer of 2012, I interned in the Washington, DC office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), a relief and development agency which supports 5 million registered Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Later that summer, I traveled to the Middle East as part of the Anti-Defamation League’s Campus Leaders Mission to Israel. The eye-opening trip, combined with the deep-dive internship with UNRWA, solidified my commitment to a career in foreign policy and prompted me to my next step: graduate school.
In August 2013, I began my graduate studies in Washington, DC at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs where I pursued a Master’s degree in International Affairs with concentrations in Middle East Studies and Conflict Resolution. The skills, knowledge, and experiences I acquired at ISU were crucial to my success in graduate school. As classes were at night, I took my non-studying time to boost my work experience, including internships at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the American Red Cross, and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. During my second year, I worked as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator of the Middle East Bureau at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The experience threw me right into the middle of many tumultuous issues in the Middle East, including the Syrian Civil, Yemini Civil War, 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict, and regional aftershocks from the Arab Spring. It also provided a unique view of how U.S. foreign policy decision are made, the mechanics by which the government functions, and an in-depth understanding to the challenges facing the region.
After graduation from George Washington University in 2015, I went to work for the Asia, Middle East, and Europe team in the International Services Department at the American Red Cross. My experiences at the Red Cross took me all over the world, from the Philippines to Thailand to Lebanon to Ukraine, working on such topics as post-Typhoon Haiyan reconstruction, disaster management assistance, organizational development workshops, and new business development. In early 2016, I applied and was selected as a 2016 Presidential Management Fellow (PMF). The PMF program is a two-year fellowship through which finalists are hired by a federal agency, complete trainings and rotations, and, in most cases, convert to the federal civil service. As a PMF, I am currently a Multilateral Diplomacy Officer in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (otherwise known as the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR) where I manage multilateral relationships with such organizations as the World Health Organizations; Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; and UNAIDS. I plan to begin my first rotation (either within the State Department or at another federal agency) in January 2017.
Address: 1800 G Street N.W., Room 10300 | Washington, D.C. 20006