Prior to beginning graduate school, Allison worked as a Foreign Service Office Management Specialist (OMS), serving at Embassy Beijing. Elsewhere at the Department of State, she worked in the Office of the Chief Economist, Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau, and Foreign Service Institute. She is a native of Washington State and a proud graduate of Washington State University, where she earned degrees in Political Science and Spanish. She holds a MA in Latin American Studies from George Washington University. Allison speaks Spanish and Chinese and she has lived abroad in Spain, Argentina, and China.