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Jessup Taylor is a graduate of Lancaster University, completing his Masters in Diplomacy before joining the United States Foreign Service in 2008. After working in Shanghai, Sao Paulo, and then in Washington in the Western Balkan Office, Jessup returned to the UK as a Political Officer at the US Embassy in London.
SCAN interviewed Jessup during a recent trip to Lancaster about how studying in the UK impacts his work in foreign policy.
Q: How did your time at an international university effect applying for and working for the American government?
A: Living abroad has been incredibly important in regards to approaching and understanding my job. When you spend time abroad, especially living abroad more than just traveling, become more able to look past your own countries traditions and beliefs and better understand other countries. Living in Lancaster for both university and work helped me develop a deeper understanding of the way the UK works and the people.
Q: How does the time you have spent abroad impact the way you understand international relations?
A: Spending quite a bit of time abroad, in a variety of countries, as well as working in international relations does change how I understand how countries interact. You become aware of the differences but also the similarities of countries, which provides context when you look at how they interact.
Q: How does your time abroad impact the way you engage with and understand US Domestic policy?
A: Living abroad makes it easy to compare US policy to domestic policy of countries all over the world, which helps give me a broader understanding of the context and impacts policy has.
Q: How would you encourage Lancaster students to engage with government, beyond voting/running for office?
A: Being aware of what governments are doing is incredibly important for young people as a start of any form of engagement. Government structures are not the easiest to engage with, and that’s part of why local and grassroots movements are important for students to get involved with and use as a way to raise opinions and ideas.