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Shaun Casey, special representative for Religion and Global Affairs at the U.S. State Department, offered ways to “be prepared if the lightning strike comes” to a classroom of Arizona State University politics and global studies students. Casey met with ASU professor Charles Ripley's "Professional Career Development" course during his visit to the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict on Oct. 6.
Stressing the importance of getting out from behind the desk and into the communities of the places they would be stationed, he told aspiring State Department workers to not be afraid of looking at posts in places that aren’t well-known. “There’s no magic in opening mail and answering phone calls in D.C.,” he said.
He discussed his own fascination with the political implications of religion that stemmed from a sense of conflict he felt filling out his draft card as a teenager who was raised as a pacifist. He also touched on the importance of having a liberal arts degree in the State Department, and the difficulties of the transition from working in an academic field to the federal government.
Story and photograph by Sarah Jarvis