Julie Gianelloni Connor

Julie Gianelloni Connor

Julie Gianelloni Connor started out thinking she would be a writer, detoured into the U.S. Foreign Service, and after retirement returned to a writing career. She is the owner and editor of Bayou City Press in Houston, TX, which focuses on writing about travel, Houston, history, and international affairs. Born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Julie finished prep school at The Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, before heading to Houston for Rice University. Her undergraduate B.A. in English and history was followed by an M.A. in creative writing from the University of Houston. She also studied journalism at Louisiana State University, during which time she interned at the “Baton Rouge Morning Advocate.” Among her jobs in her 20s, Julie taught English as a Foreign Language in Lisbon (Portugal), Barcelona (Spain), and Wimberly (England); was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Houston; and worked in the private sector for a law firm and an audio company. In 1981 Julie began her diplomatic career with the U.S. Information Agency, principally working overseas at embassies on press, cultural, and exchange issues. In 1999 USIA was absorbed into the U.S. Department of State, and Julie continued her diplomatic career there until her retirement. During a 33-year career, Julie rose to the senior Foreign Service while serving overseas nine different times in seven different countries: Israel (twice), Paraguay, Guatemala, Indonesia, Colombia (twice), Malaysia, and Chile. She worked in fields as diverse as anti-narcotics, nuclear nonproliferation, and women’s issues. Julie received an M.S. in National Security Strategy from the National War College in Washington, DC., in 1995, and served as the Diplomat-in-Residence at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin from 2012-2014. She was the recipient of numerous awards from USIA and the Department of State, including four Superior Honor Awards and USIA’s Equal Employment Opportunity Award. She was a co-founder and the first president of Executive Women at State (EW@S), an organization begun to promote the advancement of career women at the Department of State. Julie writes travel columns for the Bayou City Press website and has published two books so far: “Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike” and "The Baby with Three Families, Two Countries, and One Promise: An International Adoption Story." Both of her books have won multiple awards. Julie has one son and two cats. She is active in the Houston writing and publishing community.
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