Advancing Women’s Rights Around the World
Alum supports the U.S. Department of State in its effort to grow gender equality internationally.
Throughout her studies, Tambria Schroeder ’17 was constantly asked by family and friends, “What are you going to do with your degrees?” She never had a firm response to that question but maintained that she would figure something out. And figure it out she did, having found a career that not only harmonizes all three of her specialties but also makes a global impact.
“My current role focuses on coordinating and managing foreign assistance programs that advance gender equality and women’s rights globally.”
During her time at Brockport, Schroeder triple majored in Women and Gender Studies, International Studies, and Political Science. She then went on to earn her Master of Arts in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice from Queen’s University Belfast in 2022. Shortly after, she was offered a Senior Data Analyst position contracted with the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues in the U.S. Department of State.
“My current role focuses on coordinating and managing foreign assistance programs that advance gender equality and women’s rights globally,” she explained.
Though her position is still relatively new, Schroeder is already doing critical work. Leveraging her master’s dissertation research on gender, peace and cybersecurity issues, a large focus of her role is to help strengthen the U.S. government’s approach to addressing technology-facilitated gender-based violence and broader gender equality issues related to digital spaces, cybersecurity, and emerging technologies.
These issues had been of interest to Schroeder for a few years, but attention to online harassment and technology-facilitated gender-based violence significantly proliferated in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I think when we were all forced to rapidly shift so much of our life online, everyone — individuals, organizations and governments alike — had their eyes opened to the incredible opportunities that digital spaces and technologies can offer but also the immense risks that come with them,” Schroeder said.
In addition to responding to existing challenges, Schroeder is also interested in proactively engaging on emerging issues and technologies. To this end, before starting her new role, she completed a weeklong training on feminist approaches to ethical artificial intelligence. She noted, “With artificial intelligence models, like ChatGPT, becoming more commonplace, it’s important to me that everyone understand how human biases and inequalities can be baked into their design and cause significant harm if we don’t work to properly mitigate and address it.”
While the work of advancing gender equality and women’s rights globally may seem like a gargantuan and daunting task, Schroeder is proud to be a part of the solution to such critical and widespread issues. Despite knowing there’s always more work to be done, she is able to apply the knowledge she gained at SUNY Brockport and beyond, and truly make a difference.
“As challenging as it can be, I love working for the government in its top foreign policy institution. The challenge is what makes it exciting in many ways,” she said. “Nothing is more motivating than knowing you have the opportunity, each day, to improve the lives of people here in the United States and around the world.”
The views expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and not necessarily those of the U.S. Government.