Will Bisbee G’18

Building bridges: bringing a global perspective to national security

Growing up, Will Bisbee lived in many different regions of the U.S. and always had an eye on life abroad. Will shares how the international experience he gained at AUP now enriches his work in U.S. national security.

How did you become interested in international relations?

Spy and action movies! In all seriousness, both my parents were in the Peace Corps. They went to Africa, and my stepdad was in the Philippines. My parents speak French and it's something I always thought was interesting. I always wanted to live abroad. When I got the chance to study in Paris for a year, I was eager to seize it.

What have you been up to since you graduated?

My first son was born in January 2019, and my second in June 2021! We moved to New York City in September 2020 and I started working in national security at the Department of Justice. I love it. It's fun being in New York because a lot of what we do focuses on the United Nations, which is as international as it gets.

How did your time at AUP prepare you for this?

In the first place, it made me much more competitive. As part of the intensive interview process at the Department of Justice, I was able to draw on my experiences as a student at AUP, in student government for example, and to provide personal anecdotes about what to do when disagreements arise and how to get through them. AUP definitely gave me rich life experiences.

My experience in Paris prepared me, in particular, by giving me a broader worldview and sense of other perspectives than if I had stayed in the States. I was introduced to people of many nationalities. My job is about talking to people more than anything, and especially to people with different backgrounds and personalities. My experience at AUP also helped me speak the language of expats. Living in France for a year gave me empathy for people living someplace that isn’t their home. I work with a lot of people in that situation now. I’m always trying to learn and in the future, I hope to live abroad again.

What advice would you give someone interested in national security?

If you want the opportunity to live abroad, I would do it, and get out of the bubble of English speakers if you can. Get out of your comfort zone and be open to working with people from different backgrounds. You won’t regret it.