Washington, DC, Nov. 23 -- Undergraduate members of the George Washington University chapter of the Sigma Iota Rho International Affairs Honor Society took a short walk from campus to the Department this morning for an informational briefing series. Dean Haas, Executive Director in the Bureau of Consular Affairs, discussed administration policy priorities and answered questions on a variety of current topics: gender issues, U.S. - Afghanistan relations, and U.S. policy toward Iran were just a few of the subjects covered.
GW students then took part in a career panel featuring Department employees who are GW alumni. The Diplomat in Residence currently serving at Howard University, Barbara Cummings, moderated the panel of four officers: Katherine Garry, European Bureau; Matthew Buffington, Washington Foreign Press Center; Joe Scovitch, Office of Senator Benjamin Cardin; and Jane Daly, Office of Public Liaison. The panel addressed questions from the audience on making the GW-State Department career connection: from the intern application process to career entry programs for both the Foreign Service and the Civil Service.
State Department Careers
Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 24 -- Ari Nathan, University of Southern California (USC) Gould School of Law alumnus visited the USC Gould School of Law, Los Angeles campus as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Hometown Diplomat Program. Mr. Nathan spoke to 30 students about taking a non-traditional career path and his experiences working at the State Department. Mr. Nathan recently concluded an assignment working as an Economic Officer on a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Iraq. In early 2010 he will join the US Embassy in Madrid, Spain to work as the Environment, Science and Technology Officer.
Hometown Diplomat Visits Virginia Elementary School
ALEXANDRIA, VA, Nov. 19-- Hometown Diplomat Damaris Garcia visited Mt. Vernon Community School and spoke to over 200 4th and 5th grade students and their teachers about international careers and her experiences working for the U.S. Department of State. Ms. Garcia currently works as a section chief in the department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief visits the State Department
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 17 -- Richard Eubank, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief, and Eric Hilleman, VFW Director of Administration and Operations met with senior department officials in preparation for future travel to Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Scot Marciel, Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Michael Corbin, Deputy Assistant Secretary, for Near Eastern Affairs, and Vikram Singh, Senior Defense Advisor in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan discussed U.S. relations with these countries. The briefings also served to assist Commander Eubank in informing the VFW membership on these issues.
Florida Universities Celebrate International Education Week with Video Conference Series
WASHINGTON, DC , Nov. 17--Colin Crosby and Tim Ford from the State Department’s Office of Japanese Affairs in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs participated in a digital video conference briefing on the U.S.-Japan bilateral relationship with students and faculty from Florida International University and the University of Central Florida. Mr. Ford, an Economic Officer, focused on economic issues in Japan, touching on subjects such as climate change, and the U.S. role in the world economy. Mr. Crosby, a Political Officer, called Japan “the cornerstone of our foreign policy in East Asia” in his discussion about political issues in Japan, security relations, Japan’s relationship with North Korea and Iran, and its role in Afghanistan. Both universities have exchange programs with Japan.
Washington, DC, Nov. 18 -- Rakesh Surampudi, Senior Country Desk Officer for Italy and Scott Hartmann, Junior Desk Officer for Portugal in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs participated in a digital video conference briefing on the U.S.-Italy bilateral relationship. They engaged 30 students and faculty members from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Florida International University (FIU) on issues such as intellectual property rights, the European Union and its counterterrorism strategy, human trafficking and the decline in the numbers of Italian students coming to UCF and FIU. Both universities enjoy an exchange program with Italy.
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 19-- Andrew Reynolds , Deputy Science and Technology Advisor from the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser briefed students and faculty from Florida International University and the University of Central Florida on “Science and Technology in American Diplomacy and Development.” Mr. Reynolds discussed science, technology, development, and environmental issues.
Hometown Diplomat Returns to Seattle, Visits University of Washington
SEATTLE, WA, Nov. 17-19-- Dean Olsen, Social Science Analyst for the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, visited the University of Washington’s Seattle and Bothell campuses as part of the U.S. Department of State’s Hometown Diplomat program. Mr. Olsen spoke to 120 students about his federal career, which spans for more than 20 years. He also answered questions from students about the State Department as a potential career path. Mr. Olsen received a Master’s Degree in Policy Studies from Washington University.
State Department Official Engages North Carolinians on the Middle East
NORTH CAROLINA, Nov. 17-18-- Patricia Kabra, Deputy Director for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy for the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, traveled to Raleigh (November 17) to deliver remarks at the Annual Citizen of the World Dinner hosted by the International Affairs Council of North Carolina. Victoria Haynes, President of RTI International was the 2009 award recipient. Prior to the award presentation, Ms. Kabra discussed the work of the State Department in the Middle East, and the importance of the work of non governmental organizations in the Middle East region. Since 1995, the International Affairs Council has given the Annual Citizen of the World Award to honor a North Carolinian who, in the eyes of the selection committee, has done the most for the internationalization of the state. The annual event draws over 200 members of the North Carolina business community.
On November 18, Ms. Kabra traveled to Elon University (Elon, NC) to participate in the university’s International Education Week activities. She spoke to a class on the topic of “Media in the Middle East,” followed with a lecture to a group of 75 students and faculty on the life of a Foreign Service officer in the Middle East, and perceptions of inhabitants of that region to the United States. She concluded her visit to the university with a brownbag luncheon in which she discussed career opportunities at the State Department.
Catholic University’s School of Law Hosts Panel for 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 17 -- Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law hosted a panel discussion to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The panel was entitled The Crisis of Communism: Its meaning, origins and stages and featured 4 experts.
J. Larry Wright, Senior Country Officer for Germany in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs discussed what the end of the Cold War has meant for the United States; Rett Ludwikowski, Professor of Law and Director of Catholic University’s Comparative and International Law Institute, gave the Polish perspective; Mr. Chad Vickery and Mr. Peter Erben, from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems discussed the impact on electoral systems.
Hometown Diplomat Serving in New Delhi Visits Virginia High School
HOT SPRINGS, VA. Nov. 13 -- Lareina Ockerman, Vice Consul, US Embassy in New Delhi, India addressed 35 high school students and faculty at Bath County High School, where she graduated in 2000 as salutatorian. Ms. Ockerman spoke about her career, starting as an intern with the Department of State serving as a research intern at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York in 2003 and as a Political Affairs Intern in the Bureau of European Affairs in 2002. She also spoke to sixty-five social studies students at Valley Elementary School and met with Bath County Administrator Ms. Bonnie Johnson and School Superintendent Dr. David Smith.
State Department Briefs Legal Professionals on Iran
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 13 – Ms. Elisa Catalano, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, along with Mr. Richard Nephew, Middle East Team Chief, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, and Mr. Wesley Reisser, Foreign Affairs Officer, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, participated in a discussion and question and answer session with 22 legal professionals from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles about Iran and the status of Iran's nuclear program.
UPenn Students Visit the Department of State
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 13 – A group of 26 sophomores from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business visited the State Department for a three-hour series of briefings. Staci Brothers Ali-Ibrahim and Daniel Stewart, both from the Bureau of Human Resources, first addressed the students, discussing internship and career opportunities within the Department. Both individuals highlighted their experiences in the Foreign Service, talking about everything from job training to the challenges of raising a family abroad.
The group then met with William Burke-White from the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff. Pacing amongst the students, Mr. Burke-White began by explaining the function of the Policy Planning Staff. He then proceeded to create an energetic dialogue, focusing on major foreign policy situations currently taking place, such as in Honduras and Iran.
Finally, the group heard from Jonathan Thompson of the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs (CBA) in the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs (EB). Through a PowerPoint presentation, Mr. Thompson illustrated the purpose of CBA, as well as its placement in the structure of EEB. Following those remarks, Mr. Thompson fielded questions from the students, touching on a variety of topics ranging from U.S.-Russian business affairs to combating corruption in business arenas abroad.
State Department Recruiters speaking to UPenn students about DOS Careers.
William Burke White, S/P, addressing UPenn Students
Jonathan Thompson of the Office of Commercial and Business Affairs speaking to UPenn Students
Hometown Diplomat Visits North Carolina: Talks Public Diplomacy at Alma Mater
LAURINBURG, NC, Nov. 13 – Dean Olsen, Social Science Analyst in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs returned to his hometown, where he visited St. Andrews Presbyterian College. He spoke to about 43 students on the State Department's Public Diplomacy work and his career experiences. Mr. Olsen is one of many of the State Department's Hometown Diplomats - employees who volunteer their time during travel to their hometowns to speak publicly with local organizations and students.
Diplomat Returns Home from Indonesia Post
DETROIT, MI, Nov. 09-12-- T. Katharine Rebholz, a Foreign Service Officer from the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia revisited her alma maters. She met with over 500 students from Grosse Pointe Academy, University Liggett School and the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and discussed her experiences working as a diplomat abroad and career options at the US Department of State. Ms. Rebholz is one of many of the State Department's Hometown Diplomats - employees who volunteer their time during travel to their hometowns to speak publicly with local organizations and students.
( T. Katharine Rebholz at Gross Point Academy) (T. Katherine Rebholz at University of Michigan's Ross School of Business)
(Photos from US Embassy Website and Background Notes)
Miami University Students Linked to the State Department Digitally
OXFORD, OH, Nov. 10 -- A group of 41 undergraduate students from a Comparative Foreign Policy course from Miami University gathered for a digital video conference lecture with William Burke-White, a member of the Secretary of State's Policy and Planning Staff. Mr. Burke-White discussed the foreign policy priorities of the Obama Administration. The framework of the discussion was an article by Stephen Walt entitled A New Grand Strategy for American Foreign Policy . Mr. Burke-White's presentation focused on the emerging strategic foreign policy approach of the Obama Administration - an approach focused on pragmatism and backed by a strong sense of morality. The discussion touched on numerous policy topics such as Iran, terrorism, Latin America, QDDR, Climate Change, and more.
In coordination with the State Department's Bureau of Public Affairs, this program was organized by Christopher Schwartz, Foreign Affairs Campus Coordinator at Miami University, and Dr. Laura Neack, who is the professor for the aforementioned course.
University of Wisconsin-Madison Students in D.C. for Semester Visit the Department of State
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 10 -- Students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison visited the Department of State for a series of foreign policy programs. David Bruce Wharton, Director of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs for the Bureau of African Affairs discussed U.S. policy towards Africa and the Obama Administration's priorities in the region such as food security. He highlighted President Obama's speeches in Ghana and Cairo and Secretary Clinton's trip to Africa.
Mars Hanna, Special Assistant in the Bureau of Oceans Environments and Science's Office of Global Change, discussed climate change and the upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen.
Dr. Kathleen Crowley, a fellow in the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, spoke about her experiences at the Department of State thus far as she is currently taking a sabbatical from teaching as a professor at the College of St. Rose in Albany, New York. She discussed the Bureau's new goals for engagement, women's empowerment, human rights and the reporting process to Congress, and the funding process for the State Department for NGOs, and the role of the Office of International Religious Freedom.
National Press Foundation Fellows Tour Department of State
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 9 -- The Bureau of Public Affairs organized a half-day program for National Press Foundation Fellows. The group viewed the daily press briefing. Robert Wood, State Department Deputy Spokesman, briefed the Fellows about the State Department press operation. Michelle Bernier-Toth, Director, Office of American Citizen Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, discussed overseas citizen services and Harry Edwards, USAID press officer, provided an overview of USAID programs.
Foreign Service Officer Visits Arizona State University
TEMPE, AZ, Nov. 9 -- John Matel, Director of the Office of Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation in the State Department's Bureau of International Information and Programs, visited Arizona State University to discuss his career experiences with a group of about 15 students. He discussed his year long tour in Iraq in the Anbar province (from September 2007 until September 2008) and his experiences working with the US Military on reconstruction projects. He discussed his college experiences in Minnesota and his path to the Foreign Service, serving his first assignment as an officer at the US Embassy in Brazil, and working as a diplomat in various posts. Following the program, many students asked him for advice and for more information about the Foreign Service.
Under Secretary Robert Hormats Addresses Washington Security Conference
WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 06 -- Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs addressed the Munich Security Conference Core Group at a luncheon at the US Department of State. The luncheon was held in conjunction with the Munich Security Conference-Atlantic Council Washington Core Group Meeting. The two-day meeting provided senior policymakers with an opportunity to engage in an informal, conversational dialogue about transatlantic security challenges.