Stories from Our Community

Going to Ukraine via Seattle

Christi Anne Hofland’s tells us how her master’s degree at the Jackson School (M.A. 2015, MPA 2015) led to her current job with the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine.

“After three years of living in Ukraine, I felt that I had reached a ceiling in what I could accomplish abroad and needed a change. However, I wasn’t ready to simply let go of my experience. I had become fascinated with the region and wanted it to be the focus of my career. That’s how I found the Jackson School of International Studies.

The Jackson School provided me with the language skills, understanding of international affairs, and deep regional knowledge critical to my position at the forefront of U.S. public diplomacy in Ukraine as the Director of America House Kyiv, the U.S. Embassy’s flagship outreach and educational platform in Kyiv, Ukraine.

I spent my first summer of graduate school on a Critical Language Scholarship for intensive Russian in Ufa, Russia, and the second summer I received a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for intensive Ukrainian. I regularly use both in my work in Kyiv.

Through the School’s Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, I studied Ukraine through a variety of lenses: Anthropology, Political Science, History, Economics, even Literature and Public Health. This continues to help me make informed decisions about the programming we organize at America House on various topics.

Other experiences while studying at the Jackson School that have given me invaluable preparation of how the Department of State works and collaboration with diplomatic missions and people from other cultures include an internship at the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and the School’s Transatlantic Studies program at the University of Bath, where I encountered diverse perspectives on Transatlantic relations and Ukraine’s relationship with Europe and the U.S."