Preparing for Service
Nigel Robinson ’14 advances on his path to the diplomatic service
by Tom Kertscher

Nigel Robinson ’14 is an agent of change who knows the value of playing the long game.

After Bucknell, Robinson worked for the Steppingstone Foundation in Boston, helping underserved children prepare for college success. But he also wanted to use his international relations major. “I wanted to expand my reach, to touch more lives and see more of the world,” he says.

Robinson won a fellowship in 2018 from the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Program, named for the former Democratic congressman from New York. The U.S. State Department program was founded in 2002 to promote diversity and excellence in the corps of young diplomats.

Nigel Robinson attended the Independence Day
Photo: Muhammad-iffa Madthing
This June, Nigel Robinson ’14 attended the Independence Day celebration at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.

A seven-year program, the Rangel fellowship provides thorough preparation and up to $95,000 in benefits. Robinson, who was a Posse scholar at Bucknell, is midway through a two-year master’s degree at the Fletcher School–Tufts University and has interned for the last two summers with the Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of Representatives and at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. After graduating from Fletcher with an M.A. in law and diplomacy, he’s committed to five years in the foreign service.

“The thing about being a foreign service officer is you have to look at the long game,” Robinson says. “Diplomacy is not something that changes the landscape of a country or a situation overnight; it’s an ongoing dialogue.”

Robinson says one of his goals is “broadening people’s horizons” whether they be co-workers, mentees or people he meets in foreign service.

Noting that the Rangel fellowship seeks out minority students, Robinson says he wants to be part of diversifying the foreign service.

“It’s putting the ladder down and allowing more people to climb up,” he says. “That’s always been a goal of mine, seeing myself as a change agent.”