Shella Biallas '04

Major: Sociology
Minor: Norwegian

  • Foreign Service Officer – U.S. Department of State Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Officer
  • U.S. Embassy Oslo

“Being a Foreign Service Officer means adapting all the time—to different places, to different work environments, to different colleagues, and most of all to different cultures.

“We represent the United States at Embassies around the world, which is an honor in itself and in my opinion is one of the most exciting things I could imagine doing.

“But, it also depends on the ability to think on your feet, be professional, and at all times sensitive to the people and place where you are serving.

“Beyond my specific academic studies, PLU is a community that is welcoming and respectful, a place where I was free to change my mind and learn from those around me, important skills for a diplomat. And for such a small, tight-knit place, it is also outward-looking in a positive way. For example, minoring in Norwegian and taking Scandinavian studies seemed like a good way to connect with my own roots, but it turned out that by learning about the Norwegian approach to international politics, for example the importance of the UN, I was gaining very important background that a decade later as a diplomat in Norway is the very foundation of my work.”

Shella Biallas '04 - Foreign Service Office