Saturday, May 26, 2012

What will I be doing part I: Consular

The Foreign Service has five career tracks, or "cones" as we call them: Management, Consular, Political, Economic, and Public Diplomacy. Officers spend the bulk of their career in jobs within their cone, but are by no means limited to these position and are in fact encouraged to gain experience outside of their specialty. And all FSOs spend at least 1 year during their first two tours working as consular officers due to the high importance placed on this work. If nearly all funding to the State Department ceased tomorrow, protecting and assisting U.S. citizens abroad and managing the issuance of visas to foreign visitors, the core of consular work, would no doubt remain intact.

While I chose to spend my career as an Economic Officer, I still believe consular work is extremely important and I'm looking forward to my turn working on the visa line and helping Americans overseas. And here in D.C., high-level politicians, including our president, have started to recognize the role of consular services not only to those overseas, but also to our economy here in the U.S. The recent PBS video below provides a great overview of this work. You'll even get a chance to see some shots of the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) where I've been spending my days and hear from Assistant Secretary Janice Jacobs, who I had a chance to hear from just yesterday in class.



Watch May 18, 2012 on PBS. See more from To The Contrary.



Watch May 18, 2012 on PBS. See more from To The Contrary.

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