Talley obtained her MA in International Affairs from George Washington University’s Elliott School, where her studies focused on security and development issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, her Capstone research took her to the South Caucasus to investigate Russian influence in Azerbaijan and Armenia. During her graduate studies, Talley worked in Nairobi with the Children Peace Initiative to build peace between pastoralist tribes in northern Kenya. She also worked with Chemonics’ East and Southern Africa Office, the UN Foundation’s Better World Campaign, The Advocacy Project, and in the Senate as a Congressional Foreign Policy Fellow. Before moving to Washington, Talley worked with the World Food Programme in Dar es Salaam and served as an English teacher in France. She received her undergraduate degree in International Affairs, French, and English at the University of Mississippi.