Students at a German table

Loren Hyatt

Class of 2007

Loren Hyatt HeadshotI arrived to Wofford in 2003 as a pre-law Government major with plans to study abroad in Italy, spend a semester in Washington, DC, and head to law school after graduation. Four years later, I graduated from Wofford with a double major in Government and Spanish, a concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and study abroad experiences in Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador plus a semester in Washington, DC. If there is anything that my experience at Wofford taught me, it’s that life can take you in unexpected but wonderful directions!

Following graduation from Wofford in 2007, inspired by what I learned as a Spanish and Government major, I moved to Washington, DC, to work in the Bush Administration at the White House. Here, I had the opportunity to work on issues of importance to me and our country, including immigration reform and international relief and development. I served as a liaison for children and youth, helped cement President Bush’s legacy in changing the way that the U.S. Government provides relief and development assistance overseas (such as the Millenium Challenge Corporation and PEPFAR), planned and oversaw briefings for concerned constituencies on topics ranging from education to economics, and even staffed a few state dinners in between.

Following my work at the White House, I went on to receive a Master in Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University where I completed a Concentration in International Development and earned a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. During graduate school, I worked with World Vision, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, and the Ponheary Ly Foundation Cambodia. My coursework at Wofford was key in preparing me for the work I would take on at Georgetown. From absorbing and understanding large amounts of information to conducting statistical analysis to writing policy briefs and research papers to conversing in Spanish with professors and peers (and passing a foreign language exam!), my experience at Wofford thoroughly prepared me for the academic challenge of Georgetown.

Following graduate school, I took positions with USAID in the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and later with Lutheran World Relief where I helped to respond to humanitarian crises around the world, including a devastating earthquake in Haiti, drought and famine in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia; typhoons in the Philippines, while also working on poverty alleviation and longer-term development needs in India, Nepal, and Indonesia. Based in either Washington, DC, and later Baltimore, MD, I had the opportunity to complete deployments to six countries during a three-year period.

Loren Hyatt in JordanReaching a transition point in my career, I decided to embark with my husband on a year-long journey around the world to travel, write, and visit organizations working on causes I cared about internationally. Over the course of one year, I visited 15 different countries and connected with populations in need and organizations that support them along the way. As I traveled, the Syrian refugee crisis grew, and I knew that I wanted to support relief efforts in any way that I could. Freelance work in Jordan led to a job opportunity, and today I live in Amman, Jordan, where I work with International Orthodox Christian Charities managing relief projects for refugees and vulnerable Jordanians. In my spare time, I’m learning Arabic, taking ballet, and traveling when I can. (You can read more about my work and travels at www.foreignloren.com.)

I’m thankful to Wofford not just for what I learned in the classroom but also for the faculty who never stopped challenging me to work harder and think bigger during my four years on campus, and even now! Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I also appreciate the emphasis that Wofford places on service. From its Methodist roots to the work that it does in the communities surrounding campus, Wofford’s focus on serving others was a crucial part of my college experience. Wofford’s commitment to service not only affirmed my own call to serve others but also helped lead me to where I am today.