Jennifer Saporia King is a former Arabic translator for the United States Navy. 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 lead foreign affairs officer for Syria programming in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO). Previously, she served as the State Department’s Coordinator for WikiLeaks persons at risk. Ms. King began her State Department career as an intern in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (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.
As a PMF, Ms. King implemented more than $300 million in grants for DRL’s human rights and democracy funds. In 2007, she 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, a native of Connecticut graduated from Spelman College with a B.A. in English composition in 1993. In 2003, she received a M.S. in international studies from Central Connecticut State University.
As a diplomat, Ms. King’s goal is to learn to say “thank you” in 50 languages. As of November 2013 she can say “thank you” in 47 languages. The veteran she most admires is former Secretary of State Colin Powell. When she was an intern she remembers his advice to, “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.