PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Nate Allen

“What having the PhD and the publications really enabled me to do was to kind of make, I think, a compelling case to a lot of government and research institutions that I was a good choice, that I was an interesting candidate.”

School of Advanced International Studies

African Studies, PhD 2018

Associate Professor at Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Nate‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss how Nate’s PhD in African Studies elevated his career prospects, his advice for gaining practical work experience and its importance for securing non-academic jobs, and his experience in the government sector working in his current role at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

Learn More About Nate‘s Story

A photo of me in 2007, standing outside the doors of the 15th century Sidi Yaya Mosque in Timbutku, Mali

This photo was taken during a six-month study abroad trip during my junior year in college. My time in Mali greatly deepened my appreciation for the diversity of human experience, my love of international politics, and my commitment to do what I could to reduce poverty and address conflict in places where the needs are most acute. Shortly after this photo was taken, Timbuktu became a no-go zone for Westerners, and was eventually taken over by Islamist militants, who desecrated the mosque. Mali, which was thought of as a paragon of political stability while I was there, has now suffered over a decade of violent conflict. Now, this photo is tinged with nostalgia and sadness over what has become of a place and people that gave me so much.

A photo of me, my spouse Sarah, and daughters Raisa (4) and Maya (1 month)

This is a reminder of the importance and interconnectedness between family and work. It has been my life’s greatest joy to witness the growth of both of my daughters and to play an active role in raising them. But it is also a lot of work, work that to this day goes unrecognized, undercompensated, and falls largely to women. Both my wife and I work full time, and are co-equal in household responsibilities. Nevertheless, we would simply not be able to raise our family without support from one another, our families, day care providers, and the public school system. I think it is especially important for men to take an active role in the household—and to be frank about the tradeoffs and consequences that result from unequal caregiving responsibilities.