University News

From Senior Research to G7 Meetings

May 8, 2024

When Raymond Marolt ’14 wrote his capstone about political refugees fleeing World War II, he had no idea he was launching a career.

“During my history classes, I became interested in learning more revisionist histories,” Marolt said. “Little did I know this would convert into a continued interest in understanding the untold stories of migrants.”

Today, Marolt ’14 travels to global conferences as an international relations officer at the U.S. Department of Labor. After graduating from Denison, he spent two years in Peru with the Peace Corps and then earned a master’s in international business at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Marolt represents U.S. development projects with counterparts at these conferences, including representatives from Brazil and Honduras at the Special Coffee Expo in Portland, Oregon. He also traveled to Sydney, Australia, for the annual G20 Occupational Safety and Health network meeting, where he staffed a meeting to issue a statement on rights for workers in the gig economy — and met a koala.

We asked Marolt to tell us about his work at the Department of Labor and how his Denison history major helped him get there:

What are your current responsibilities at the Department of Labor, and what else have you done on your way there?

I am an international relations officer at the Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB), supporting the United States’ interventions at multilateral fora such as the G7 and G20. Prior to my current role at the bureau, I worked as a project manager overseeing technical assistance in Latin America.

What are some examples of how you are continuing to learn new things as you build your career?

I have always wanted to continue learning in some capacity. ILAB provides me with opportunities to develop a regional focus on Latin America and continued language training. ILAB has also given me the opportunity to learn about multilateral engagement, ethical supply chain models, and labor practices within the coffee sector.

Is there something you really enjoy about your current role that you didn’t realize would be part of the job ahead of time?

When starting at ILAB I never imagined that I would work on projects in the coffee sector. I also never expected to be attending G7 or G20 labor track meetings on behalf of the United States.

How has your history major contributed to your career?

Studying history at Denison honed my ability to study people and understand the social context in which people are working and what influences their decisions. This has been useful as I engage in multilateral engagements.

How do your Denison experiences as a history major still shape your life at and beyond work?

I built on my history research skills in graduate school, when I studied how Venezuelan immigrants integrated into their new communities. Firsthand interviews helped me understand their untold stories. Many worked in precarious and irregular situations in order to make a new life. My research led me to work at ILAB, where we work to advocate for the most vulnerable and marginalized workers, many of them migrants.

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