printable banner

U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

The Dangerous, Exciting, and Fulfilling Life of a Former Westchester High School Student

Bureau of Public Affairs
October 18, 2002


Bureau of Public Affairs
Office of Public Liaison

Lois Aroian
Deputy Director
Office of South African Affairs

Deputy Director for the Office of South African Affairs Lois AroianWestchester High School, Los Angeles, CA: When the students of Westchester High School in Los Angeles were assembling to meet former alumnus Lois Aroian, they probably did not expect to hear that this petite woman has faced a coup d’etat, a civil war, the shooting of a U.S. Embassy employee, and been evacuated twice from posts overseas. She has braved adversity and danger -- all part of her job serving the United States as a Foreign Service Officer for the Department of State.

Now Ms. Aroian is stationed in Washington, DC where she is the State Department’s Deputy Director of the Office of South African Affairs. But since she joined the Foreign Service in 1984, her job has taken her to South Africa, Nairobi, Zambia, Malawi, Damascus, Beirut, Casablanca, Quebec City, and the Caribbean.

Ms. Aroian spent several hours with the students, taking questions and explaining the duties, training and education that goes into becoming a Foreign Service Officer. Her career has been one of international study and travel. She taught Middle East history at the University of Ilorin in Nigeria and is still a Research Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Michigan.

She studied at the National War College and worked for the U.S. House of Representataives as a Congressional Fellow of the American Historical Association.

Ms. Aroian is one Westchester High student who has gone the extra mile in understanding the complexities of international affairs for the United States. Perhaps one day, Westchester High will see more of its students embarking on their own careers of travel, intrigue and service to the United States.

News clipping from Westchester High School newspaper

Feature story from Westchester High School newspaper "The Comet" (above).

Collage of photos from Westchester High School students (below).

Collage by Westchester High School students of Lois Aroians Visit.

Released on October 18, 2002

Back to Top

Do you already have an account on one of these sites? Click the logo to sign in and create your own customized State Department page. Want to learn more? Check out our FAQ!

OpenID is a service that allows you to sign in to many different websites using a single identity. Find out more about OpenID and how to get an OpenID-enabled account.