The Department is pleased to announce that Mr. Collin Walsh, a Foreign Affairs Officer in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), Office of Rewards for Justice (RFJ) has been named a CAREERS and the disABLED Magazine 2022 Employee of the Year for his resilience, professional accomplishments, and commitment to advocacy for persons with disabilities.

In 2016, on his third day of Foreign Service orientation as a DS Special Agent candidate, Mr. Walsh became physically paralyzed and was told he would never walk again.  He resigned from the Foreign Service and immediately set about reinventing himself.  After two years dedicated entirely to physical recovery, Mr. Walsh returned to DS walking with elbow-supported mobility aids.  In his new role, Mr. Walsh serves as a Civil Service foreign affairs officer in DS/RFJ, which offers rewards for information regarding those who threaten U.S. national security.

Career highlights for Mr. Walsh include overseeing RFJ’s global tips program, serving on a cross-functional rotation in the Office of the Legal Adviser, and leading an accessibility overhaul of the DS headquarters building.

Guided by his passion for public service and his commitment to representing the resilience of the American disability community globally, Mr. Walsh successfully competed for the Department’s Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship.  The fellowship offers funding for a master’s degree, places fellows in domestic and overseas internships, and culminates with a commission in the Foreign Service.  As a result, Mr. Walsh is a full-time Civil Service employee and Georgetown University graduate student, has completed a domestic internship with the Department’s India desk, will intern this summer at U.S. Embassy Port Moresby, and is scheduled to be commissioned as a Foreign Service Officer in 2023.

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U.S. Department of State

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