Please tell us about yourself
Sahil Jain is a diplomat for the United States. He has consulted members of Congress on foreign affairs and holds a degree in international relations from Syracuse University and a Master’s degree from The George Washington University. Sahil is a native of Northern California and speaks Spanish, Punjabi, and Hindi.
1. Growing up, how did your family influence you? How did you end up in such an offbeat, unoconventional and fascinating career?
In every way imaginable. I grew up watching my family overcome economic and cultural obstacles, which inspired me to set high goals for myself. Watching my father, till this very day, working twelve hour days taught me the importance of hard work and determination. My family led by example and instilled in me the importance of succeeding in school. Most importantly, after seeing my family overcome their challenges, I grew up witnessing a living model of the American Dream and grew a deep desire to give back to a country that’s given us so much.
2. How did you find your way into the world? In what ways did college prepare your job today?
My personal journey led me across the country to the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could adapt to a culture different than my own. So, I chose to study abroad in Europe and in South India. Throughout my undergraduate career, I continued to learn lessons about acceptance, hard work, leadership, and scholarship. In two years, I obtained my degree in International Studies from Syracuse University and became the first person in my family to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree.
When it came to deciding my career, being overseas made me realize that I wanted to conduct diplomacy for the United States. After learning about diplomacy in college, I was committed to becoming a part of the Diplomatic Corps for the United States. As a U.S. diplomat now, I’m able to work in an embassy through a crisis, help Americans overseas, protect our borders as the first line of defense, give opportunities to people all around the world to come to the United States (just like my father), and be the face of the United States.
3. What has been your favorite journey so far?
I’ve been through Port-au-Prince’s streets in an armored vehicle, in boats through Amsterdam, and surfing on Peruvian shores. However, to me, I think coming back home to California is always a treat. I get to spend time with my family and not to mention it has the best restaurant in the world: my mom’s kitchen.
4. What kind of impact can international studies have in today’s world?
I strongly believe that the impact made in public service comes from conscious citizenship, which is something that I’ve seen within the students of international studies. International studies allows students to do effective policy evaluation with issues that one can explore in the classroom. So, to put it bluntly, the impact of international studies could change the world!
5. Which principles of Jainism have been most influential in your journey?
I think the concept of ahimsa, or the principle of non-violence, was infused in me through growing up in a Jainist family. The concept of ahimsa, I think, led me to a career in diplomacy. At the end of the day, I hope to use diplomacy to promote peace and prosperity around the world.