“My fascination with diplomacy stems from growing up at a time when many global events were taking place all around me. Perhaps that led to my desire to travel and experience the world. I think when you live in a new place and immerse yourself in its culture and environment, you inevitably transform and acquire something meaningful to bring back with you. It's a journey of self-enrichment and perhaps self-discovery as well. I’ve worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan for nearly 16 years, including diplomatic assignments at Pakistan’s Mission to the United Nations in New York, working in Turkey, and traveling to several other parts of the world as part of my work. It’s a great privilege to represent one’s country internationally. My primary area of focus has been multilateral diplomacy at the United Nations. I believe working at the UN gives you an overarching view of world affairs and allows you to engage with a wide variety of policy perspectives.
As a diplomat, I find the experience of reaching a negotiated compromise with states with different policy positions extremely rewarding. I have a lot of faith in the potential of diplomacy to bridge political divisions, resolve conflicts and advance the common good."Umer Siddique MPP ’23
At the same time, I have always advocated for bringing necessary reforms in the international system to address structural disparities and political inequalities. SPIA has been a tremendous opportunity to step out of the diplomatic world and look at policymaking from a different angle. The rich academic environment here has allowed me to look beyond my own peculiar perspectives and appreciate and engage with other views more candidly. I have come across many bright and brilliant minds who have helped me look at many global challenges in a completely different light. It has truly been a humbling and invaluable experience. I'm leaving enriched both intellectually and professionally and taking back a deeper understanding of issues that matter to humanity and global peace.”