Laurel Seely Voloder F'11, F'08

Laurel Seely Voloder
Communications Analyst
US Government Accountability Office

Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows 2011
Religious Freedom Promotion Specialist
U.S. Department of State
Appointed as Religious Freedom Promotion Specialist, US Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
PhD, Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz

The International Religious Freedom Office of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor is responsible for developing strategies to promote religious freedom and reduce religious persecution and discrimination as a core objective of US foreign policy. The Office reviews, recommends, and implements policy on international religious freedom; conducts advocacy and negotiations; manages assistance programs; and produces the Department's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom. The Religious Freedom Promotion Specialist provides expert analytical and advisory support for the planning, development, and execution of religious freedom in US foreign policy as it relates to a geographic portfolio.

Dissertation Fellowships in East European Studies 2008
Doctoral Student
University of California, Santa Cruz
Discourses of Bosnian Identity and the Transition to Post-Socialism

This dissertation research centers upon contemporary literary, academic, artistic avant-garde, and popular culture in Bosnia and Herzegovina, viewed within the larger political and cultural contexts of late- and post-socialist Yugoslavia. The aim of the project is to explore the multiple and disparate intersections and transformations of identity, nation, and culture in Bosnia during a period of rapid political and social change within a variety of media and milieux. To that end, it provides analysis of key "nodal events" dating from the period of the disintegration of Yugoslavia into separate states and distinct national identities.