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Humans of the Embassy
Humans of the Embassy: Soham Basu, Pickering Fellow
August 18, 2023

Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Soham Basu has always been captivated by the interplay of cultures, places, and languages. As the child of immigrant parents from India, he experienced the contrasting struggle of preserving his Bengali heritage while blending into his Midwestern American surroundings.

His passion for understanding diverse cultures led him to study South Asian history and foreign policy as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College and immerse himself in the rich tapestry of the region. Between 2019 and 2020 Soham lived in Lucknow and New Delhi as a Boren Scholar. During his time in India, Soham dedicated himself to learning Urdu, further expanding his linguistic repertoire.

After working for two years at a start-up focused on U.S.–China economic relations, Soham embarked on an extraordinary opportunity, enrolling at Yale University for a postgraduate degree as part of the Department of State’s Pickering Fellowship. This prestigious fellowship not only offered academic enrichment but also provided Soham with an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.

Inspired by Singapore’s remarkable development, political and economic model, and its ability to embrace and harmonize different cultures while maintaining a strong national identity, Soham found himself in awe. He was particularly impressed by Singapore’s housing policies and its significant investment in education, recognizing the nation’s commitment to its people’s well-being and development.

Throughout his stay in Singapore, Soham had the chance to indulge in the vibrant local culinary scene. His favorite dish? Roti John, a savory delight at the hawker center in Newton. With his enriching experience in Singapore, Soham will return to Yale University to complete his studies, armed with a newfound perspective and a deeper understanding of the complexities of international relations and diplomacy. His time as a Pickering Fellow and his internship at the U.S. Embassy have allowed him to put theory into practice, witnessing firsthand how diplomacy operates on the ground at events like the Shangri-La Dialogue.

As he looks ahead, Soham eagerly awaits the next chapter of his journey. Once he completes his studies, he will undergo rigorous training at the State Department, honing his skills and knowledge to become a fully-fledged diplomat. With his remarkable dedication, cultural sensitivity, and passion for diplomacy, Soham is poised to make a meaningful impact on the global stage.

Soham Basu’s story is one of exploration, cultural exchange, and embracing the power of diversity. Through his experiences, he epitomizes the spirit of diplomacy and the pursuit of building bridges across nations. We eagerly anticipate the remarkable contributions he will make as he continues his journey of fostering understanding and cultivating positive change in the world.