MA in Latin American Studies Alumnus, 2007
May 15, 2015
Jacob Schultz is a career member of the United States Foreign Service. He currently serves as an economic officer in the U.S. Embassy in Quito, Ecuador where he covers issues such as extractive resources, banking and finance, civil aviation, sanctions, and multilateral lending. Prior to his posting to Ecuador, Jacob was the Environment, Science, Technology, and Health officer in the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. He also served as a consular officer in Hermosillo, Mexico. Jacob earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Florida State University in Panama and a master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Florida. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Jacob worked for an NGO, for the United Nations Development Program, and as an interpreter/translator. Jacob speaks fluent Spanish and is proficient in Portuguese. Jacob is married and has two daughters.
I am a career member of the United States Foreign Service with a focus on economic issues. Foreign Service Officers like
myself spend the majority of their careers overseas, but usually return to Washington, DC periodically. Currently I am an economic officer in the U.S. Embassy in Quito where I cover issues related to extractive resources, banking and finance, civil aviation, sanctions, and multilateral lending.
While Foreign Service Officers are expected to be available for worldwide service, we often spend a significant portion of our careers focused on a particular region. My time as a MALAS student gave me a deep understanding of Latin American language, culture, history, and economics. This background has enabled me to be more effective in my current position and in my first position in Mexico. Additionally, my coursework in the LABE concentration really helped prepare me for work as an Economic Officer, especially the courses in law, economics, and finance.
It is important to acquire experience and knowledge that makes you uniquely qualified for the position that interests you. In my case, having a combination of work experience and an academic background in the field of economics made me competitive for a position as an economic officer. Additionally, as a Foreign Service Officer, one must be willing to support the policies of the President, regardless of your own political philosophy.