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Asian Pacific Heritage Month: Tamara Rivera


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Office of Civil Rights
Washington, DC
May 2009


Date: 04/28/2009 Description: Ms. Tamara Rivera. State Dept PhotoTamara Rivera is an employee in the Bureau of Consular Affairs. She began her career at State eight months ago as a Presidential Management Fellow. She is Vice-Chair of Programming for State’s Presidential Management Fellows Advisory Council. Ms. Rivera has worked at the Philippine Embassy, at the Thomas Foreign Language School in China, in the Asia division at IRI, and as an intern at NATO and AFSA.

Ms. Rivera is a second generation Filipino-American. Her parents emigrated from the Philippines in 1967 after Tamara’s father joined the U.S. Navy, serving in the Vietnam war and many other deployments in the next decades.

Ms. Rivera was raised in Virginia Beach, where her family has always been active in the Filipino community. Her mother is a well-known activist and entrepreneur and founder of the Philippine-American Literary, Sports, and Arts Foundation (PALSAF), which awards talented Filipino-Americans college scholarships. Ms. Rivera became its Youth Director, expanding PALSAF to include Filipino cultural and mentoring programs. She also was the first Filipino-American to serve on the Mayor’s Youth Council. She has been performing and teaching Filipino folk dances since she was eight. While in college, she was Vice President of the Filipino-American Student Association (FASA) and the Asian Student Council.

Ms. Rivera is appreciative of her heritage, and attributes her accomplishments to her rich cultural background. She has lived and worked in China, and is currently planning a rotation to U.S. Embassy Manila.

Ms. Rivera received a Master’s Degree in Political Science from American University, and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Government from the College of William and Mary.



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