Bayly Winder is an alumnus of the 2008 Arabic summer program in Jordan and currently works at USAID as a political appointee in the Biden-Harris Administration.

The views expressed by Bayly are his own, and not necessarily those of the U.S. Government.

Bayly Winder is an alumnus of the 2008 Arabic summer program in Jordan. After studying Arabic in Jordan as a NSLI-Y program participant, Bayly focused on political science and Arabic as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University. He spent his junior year at Georgetown University’s campus in Qatar as a Boren Scholar and, upon graduating, he conducted research in Kuwait as a Fulbright Scholar. From 2016-2108, Bayly served at the State Department, as a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. He also worked on government engagement with the private sector as a consultant and graduated from the University of Oxford with an MBA.

After graduate school, he focused on international business development and government relations at a satellite industry startup. Bayly was a Non-Resident Scholar at the Middle East Institute and a Penn Kemble Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy. He has published articles on the GCC with numerous think-tanks, been quoted in U.S. and international media coverage of the region, and presented at Middle East conferences at Harvard University and Georgetown University. Bayly currently works at USAID as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Administrator for Management and Resources and Chief Operating Officer. In this role, he is a political appointee in the Biden-Harris Administration.

Bayly’s interest in the Middle East and Arabic language stemmed originally from his family. Both his parents grew up partially in the MENA region and Bayly is part Lebanese. After studying French in high school, he knew he wanted to pivot to Arabic in college. The NSLI-Y program helped him to get a head start on his goals. Bayly notes that the NSLI-Y program was a “crucial foundation for studying the language and allowed for valuable interactions with Jordanian culture - making meaningful friendships, eating mansaf, stargazing at Wadi Rum, and floating in the Dead Sea were some of the many highlights of my time in the country.” His NSLI-Y impact did not end there, as he points out, “as a NSLI-Y alumni, I sought out and benefited from future opportunities to study in the Middle East with U.S. government support. I see the NSLI-Y program as a springboard that positioned me effectively to take part in the Boren and Fulbright programs, and ultimately work in the American public sector.”

Bayly’s Arabic skills have proven helpful in his career path in many ways, whether that’s been conducting interviews for research projects or making a pitch to business leaders. He notes that he works in ‘people-centric’ fields, where “having language skills and being culturally informed make someone a more effective worker in diplomatic and commercial arenas.”

Bayly encourages those interested in public service to explore a wide variety of roles and employers, rather than limiting themselves to the options they are most familiar with. He notes that “there are many different ways to serve in the public sector, and sometimes the best-known possibilities aren’t the ideal fit. There are also a ton of different programs that are open to students and young professionals. Many of them provide structure, support, and financial assistance. Some of them even make it easier to enter the federal government through special hiring mechanisms.” Bayly believes that there is no higher calling than a career in public service, valuing the “mission-driven, impactful, and motivating environment where you can feel like you’re a part of something much bigger than yourself.”