Green School student aspires to enter a diplomatic career

Asheley Gelin

Asheley Gelin, a junior majoring in economics at the Green School of International & Public Affairs, is primed to pursue her aspiration: to become a foreign diplomat. A charismatic individual with a passion for pursuing deep-seated interests, ranging from economic development and sustainability to international relations and spirituality, the path she has traveled has prepared her to attain her goal.

When she graduates in spring 2025, she plans to continue her education. Currently, she is considering studying for a master’s degree at FIU and intends to continue her Miami-based research. She then plans to earn a PhD in public policy or public administration and doesn’t rule out applying to out-of-state institutions such as Harvard, NYU and Georgetown.  Ultimately, she sees herself working in the White House or abroad in a diplomatic role.  

She has plenty of life experience to build on: Born in Haiti (and fluent in Kreyól), she has traveled to several foreign countries, and as a rising sophomore she learned how our nation's capital works when she was a marketing and strategy intern with the Department of Defense, thanks to an Boren Award she received from the National Security Education Program.

“I’m pursuing my career path to eventually join the U.S. state department by combining my love for research, economics and economic development,” Gelin said. “And I’m working on two certificates, one in Haitian Studies and the other in spirituality. I believe as a diplomat my sensitivity to dealing with other cultures and people will come from a nuanced understanding of spirituality. It will be an important asset whether I’m dealing with a country’s spiritual beliefs or the non-governmental organizations or the other diplomats.”

An FIU Global Learning Research Fellow, Gelin has conducted a project in Miami’s Little Haiti, investigating gentrification and resident displacement and its socioeconomic implications. She is also working on another project as a fellow – developing an FIU interreligious lecture series to open dialogue and conversations on campus about religions. Her experience traveling abroad with an FIU program, where she met with interfaith leaders, helped prompt this endeavor.

Gelin explained: “I believe having a spiritual identity is common in other countries, especially after traveling to Israel, Palestine and Jordan with the FIU in Middle East program and witnessing the importance of each country's spirituality to understand their political issues. It was a life-changing experience,” said Gelin.

Another of Gelin’s projects stems from a family tragedy – the death of her brother, an innocent victim of gun violence. A Giffords Courage Fellow, she travels to Austin and D.C. to lobby on gun violence prevention and is creating a project to mobilize the local community on the issue.

In addition to her full course load and extensive extracurricular pursuits, Gelin conducts campus tours for the Office of Admissions. Her dynamic and animated demeanor engages visitors as she points out landmarks. Nicolas Andre, MLA, Haitian Studies certificate director and Haitian program coordinator, is also impressed by her exceptional drive. 

“I find her really engaged and committed to her education, and she is one of the most highly determined students I’ve ever taught,” Andre said. “She is never tired although engaged in many other campus activities and courses. She knows how to engage in teamwork, and before a team presentation in D.C., she shared her work before they left, a true sign of her natural leadership ability.”