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Celebrating Veterans Day 2011: Jennifer Saporia King

November 15, 2011


Date: 11/15/2011 Description: Celebrating Veteran's Day 2011: Jennifer Saporia King - State Dept Image

Jennifer Saporia King is a former Arabic translator for the United States Navy. In 1996, she graduated from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California after 63 weeks of intensive Arabic language training. As a result of her career as an Arabic translator, Ms. King wrote her master’s thesis on “Islamic Feminism vs. Western Feminism, Analyzing a Conceptual Conflict.”

Currently, Ms. King serves as the Coordinator for WikiLeaks persons at risk in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). Ms. King began her State Department career as an intern for DRL in the Fall of 2002. She then returned as a 2003 Presidential Management Fellow in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security’s Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis' Middle East and North Africa division.

In 2005 Ms. King rotated into DRL as a foreign affairs officer where she implemented more than $300 million in grants for human rights and democracy funds. In August of 2007, Ms. King volunteered for a hard-to-fill position as a political officer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Her portfolio included human rights, women’s rights, and rule of law issues.

Ms. King’s prior experience includes working in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL). INL’s budget is estimated at three billion dollars and Ms. King was responsible for the Corrections System Support Program and the rule of law Judicial Sector Support Program in Afghanistan.

Ms. King, a native of Connecticut graduated from Spelman College with a B.A. in English in 1993. In 2003, she graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a M.S. in international studies concentrating on the Middle East. As a diplomat Ms. King wants to learn how to say “thank you” in 50 languages before her 50th birthday. As of November 2011 she can say “thank you” in 37 languages.

The veteran she most admires is former Secretary of State Colin Powell. When Ms. King was an intern at DOS he told the group, “Always remember to take care of your people and they will take care of you.” She aspires to be a leader as effective as General Powell.

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