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Alumni Highlight: Natalie Boyse ’09

Alumni Highlight: Natalie Boyse ’09

Alumni Highlight: Natalie Boyse ’09

ORF AMERICA

Ms. Boyse shares her career highlights.

Staff Writer

December 7, 2023

Julian Zhang '26

Ms. Natalie Boyse ’09 is the Global Program Manager for Observer Research Foundation (ORF) America, a non-partisan public policy institute and think tank based in India. She has served in various roles in the U.S. federal government, including at the Department of Education (ED), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Defense (DOD). Staff writer Julian Zhang ’26 met with Ms. Boyse to ask about her experiences at the school and her career in public service. 


Why did you choose Hotchkiss? 


Because my dad was a U.S. diplomat, my family was posted around the world. I spent most of my childhood in Europe, but went to middle school in New Delhi. That’s when my parents decided to send my brother and I to boarding school. When my brother got into Hotchkiss, I followed in his footsteps. I’d been abroad for nearly my entire life, so I was itching to go back to the States. Hotchkiss was a great opportunity to ease back into life here. 


There definitely was a transition. At first, I didn’t get a lot of the references my classmates used, because I had grown up in a different world. However, Hotchkiss was very accepting, and after the first semester, I felt at home. I started to pick up on the cultural references, got into a routine, and made really good friends. 


Could you share some of your most significant experiences at the school? 


Growing up as the daughter of a foreign service officer sparked an interest in politics and international affairs. From a young age, I was able have conversations about politics and global issues, so I caught the “political bug” early. 


I really enjoyed running the Hotchkiss Political Union (HPU) and Repubs. Through them, I brought some speakers to campus. The most memorable speaker was Jim Buckley. He was a judge and conservative senator from New York. After these kinds of experiences, I think it was inevitable that I pursued a career in politics or government. 


What did you do while working in the U.S. government? 


I was in the federal government for three and a half years. After working in the Office of the HHS Secretary, I then transferred over to the DoD. I ended up in the travel office. 


We were a small team responsible for executing events for the Secretary of Defense. If we were traveling overseas, I would often be a liaison between the host government, the embassy, the DoD on ground, and the Pentagon. 


Just as I had done one international trip, however, Covid happened. I got pulled back to the HHS, and that ended up being my favorite job in government. 


In the midst of Covid, I was the point of contact clearing materials coming from the White House. I’d compile all the feedback on communications materials, executive orders, you name it. It was a fastpaced environment, as the White House was putting out a lot of information. But it also served as great exposure to how complicated the government is. 


It’s really hard to make policy. That’s probably my biggest takeaway from working in government. It’s tough to make decisions in a crisis when things are changing very quickly and you don’t have a lot of information. 


There’s something fun about working in government when you’re young, because you have access to interesting assignments, and you can do work that matters. I’ve always thought Hotchkiss students should go into politics and government, because we need good people in these positions.


What is one piece of advice you would give to students?


Embrace ambiguity and uncertainty. The most interesting people have circuitous paths. Life has a way of working itself out and surprising you, so you don’t have to plan too much—take advantage of interesting opportunities and the rest will sort itself out.

Julian Zhang is a staff writer for The Record.

February 1st

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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