Pella Chronicle

November 9, 2012

Former U.S. ambassador and Central alum speaks on campus

The Chronicle

Pella — Bernadette Allen ’78, former U.S. ambassador to Niger, will be in residence at Central College from Nov. 12-16.

During her years at Central, Allen studied abroad in Paris to complement her French and linguistics majors. After graduation, she used her connection with Central College Abroad to partner with a school in France, teaching ESL to high school students.

She met officials from the U.S. State Department who encouraged her to work in foreign service. Allen went on to work at the department beginning in 1980. Since then, she has worked with a number of countries, including Burundi, Japan, the Philippines and China. She became the ambassador to Niger in 2006. She retired from her position in 2010.

Allen will be speaking to students about her career, as well as international politics.

“We used to be able to be isolated, but it’s impossible to live only with a domestic eye anymore,” Allen said. “We need an international perspective to make it in the future. All of these companies are going global and now our financial situation is so interlinked with the world market.”