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Alumna Impacts U.S. Foreign Policy from Abroad

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Ruby Marcelo

A degree from the University of Maryland School of Public Policy can take your career in a multitude of directions. It can even take you around the world. Alumna Ruby Marcelo ’07 is currently working for the U.S. Department of State as vice counsel at the U.S. Consulate Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

“Vice consul is part of the consular affairs mission of the Department of State,” Marcelo says. “The mission of this section of the department is to protect the lives and interest of American citizens abroad and strengthen the security of U.S. borders through the vigilant adjudication of visas and passports. My primary work has been in adjudicating visas and passports.”

She adds that she enjoys issuing visas to those who qualify and issuing first-time passports to Americans. “My degree has helped me see my local work of visa adjudications as a small but integral part of the larger U.S.-Mexico foreign policy.

I decided on the School of Public Policy because of the diversity of the core program. I wanted experience in different areas beyond my specialization.
Ruby Marcelo SPP Alumnus

Marcelo says she first became interested in public policy when she was young. “My interest stemmed through my social studies classes in middle school, watching “Eyes on the Prize” and learning about the Civil Rights Movement,” she says. “Seeing the impact of policy on the people got my interest.”

“I decided on public policy because I wanted to get a strong foundational background of what makes policy and moreover what makes good policy,” Marcelo says. “I decided on the School of Public Policy because of the diversity of the core program. I wanted experience in different areas beyond my specialization.”

In addition to the strong curriculum, Marcelo adds excellent location for internships and work, engaging professors and access to UMD resources to her list of reasons students should come to the UMD School of Public Policy for a public policy degree.

“My time at UMD helped me find my first job with the Montgomery County Government in Maryland,” Marcelo says. “Through work at the county level, I could see first-hand what good local government is and how local efforts trickle upward to the state and federal level programming, policies and good governance. I am currently living in a city in Mexico with no functional local policy. I can see how badly needed are these local level services that we, in the U.S., take so much for granted.”

Marcelo will be starting a new assignment in Tel Aviv, Israel, where she hopes to see a different side to U.S. foreign relations with a major security partner in the Middle East. Starting this year, she will also be serving as secretary for the SPP Alumni Chapter Board.


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