November 15, 2011

Date: 11/15/2011 Description: Celebrating Veteran's Day 2011: Aaron Pina - State Dept Image

Aaron Pina currently serves as an Egypt analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research since 2009. Before joining INR, Mr. Pina served as Egypt desk officer in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, where he covered issues related to human rights and democracy. From 2006-2009, Mr. Pina served in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor where he covered international religious freedom in the Middle East.

A 2004 alum of the Presidential Management Fellowship Program, Mr. Pina rotated to the Department of State from the Congressional Research Service, where he served as an analyst in Middle East Religious and Cultural Affairs.

Mr. Pina, a native of Rhode Island, received his BA, with honors, in anthropology and Middle East studies from Portland State University in 2002. During his time at Portland State, Mr. Aaron co-taught courses on the modern Middle East in additional to volunteering in local areas high schools.

Mr. Pina went on to earn his MA is international relations and religion from Boston University in 2004. Mr. Pina’s graduate thesis examined how nineteenth century religious and cultural associations helped forge Palestinian national identity.

Mr. Pina is also a five-year veteran of the U.S. Army where he served as an Infantry non-commissioned officer in the 25th Infantry Division. Mr. Pina served with distinction in Haiti as part of Operation Uphold Democracy in 1994, where he earned an Army Commendation Medal for leadership under duress. Mr. Pina concluded his military service by serving in Egypt with the U.N. Multinational Force Observers in 1996. After spending six months in Egyptian desert, Mr. Pina caught the Middle East bug and has worked on the region ever since.

Mr. Pina has studied French and is proficient in Arabic. Mr. Pina is committed to living by the words that were first imparted to him by former Grambling University football coach, Eddie Robinson, who once told a ten-year old Aaron to “always have the courage of your convictions.”