Date: 02/01/2011 Description: 2011 Black History Month Participant: Jennifer Saporia King - State Dept Image

Jennifer Saporia King currently serves as the lead foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) focusing on persons at risk due to the release of Wiki Leaks material. Ms. King began her State Department career as an intern for DRL in the Fall of 2002. She then returned as a 2003 Presidential Management Fellow assigned to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security in the Office of Intelligence and Threat Analysis' Middle East and North Africa division.

In 2005 Ms. King rotated into DRL as a foreign affairs officer with DRL’s programming unit where she implemented more than $300 million in grants for human rights and democracy funds. In August of 2007, Ms. King volunteered for a hard-to-fill position as a political officer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Her portfolio included human rights, women’s rights, and rule of law issues.

Ms. King, a native of Connecticut graduated from Spelman College with a B.A. in English in 1993. She then joined the United States Navy, where she served for six years as an Arabic translator. In 2003, she graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a M.S. in international studies concentrating on the Middle East.

Before volunteering for a position in Saudi Arabia she served as a foreign affairs officer for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). She has traveled to Afghanistan, India, Lebanon, and Nepal.

As a diplomat Ms. King wants to learn how to say “thank you” in 50 languages before her 50th birthday. As of February 2011 she can say “thank you” in 34 languages.

Ms. King credits her accomplishments to Harriet Tubman. Her goal is to make sure she achieves the liberties that were denied to Harriet Tubman and others like her.