As the daughter of newly inaugurated Vice President Mike Pence, Audrey Pence has entered a new role in the spotlight. The college senior attended the Republican National Convention and the inauguration in support of her father. But though Audrey is clearly open to showing up for her dad's events, the senior at Northeastern University has voiced her independent opinions in the past. Perhaps her divergent views are part of what has led her to choose to study International Affairs and Arabic.
As a sophomore, Audrey Pence spent one month studying Arabic in Amman, Jordan, before relocating to Istanbul, Turkey. There, Audrey worked on various journalism projects for the Solutions Journal. Her Solutions biography also stated that she would go on to the Balkans in order to further study international conflict and negotiation. Clearly, Mike and Karen Pence's youngest child seems to have an intense interest in international affairs, particularly the current status of the Middle East. But if her past pronouncements on certain policies are any indication, Audrey will likely approach the region very differently than her father's Republican party traditionally has.
According to ABC News, the youngest of the Pence kids self-identifies as "socially liberal." Usually, that's code for supporting gay marriage, being pro-choice, and accepting climate change as a reality. It's unclear if these heterodox views extend to other areas as well, but Audrey credits her conservative father with encouraging her to come to her own conclusions.
In an interview with her university's News@Northeastern publication, Audrey shared some of the lessons she'd gathered while living overseas and collaborating with the Fuller Project. Working alongside founder Christina Asquith, Audrey reported on local stories in Turkey, particularly that of a Syrian journalist who was publishing an underground newspaper of stories told by fellow Syrians trapped by the civil war. Audrey told the author of the piece, Joe O'Connell, of her interest in working at an embassy or U.S. consulate.
"I’ve talked to a lot of people who are foreign officers and seen the work they do and many have said they are all very much generalists rather than specialists, which is something I really identify with; being able to take different lessons from all around the world and applying them."
It certainly seems that Audrey Pence enjoys working globally, which comes as no surprise, given that her major is International Studies. It will be fascinating to see where she directs her energies after graduation.