“Non-immigrant Visa Officer, American Citizen Services officer, Prisoners Issues Officer, Immigrant Visa Officer … I got to do it all during my first tour as a Foreign Service officer at U.S. Embassy San Jose, Costa Rica. It wasn’t always easy, but it was always rewarding.
In all of my roles as a Vice Consul, the most satisfying was my work as Children’s Issues Officer. Costa Rica became a signatory to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Parental Child Abduction in January, 2008. I got to work closely with the host government, the Office of Children’s Issues back at the Department in Washington, my Consul General and the Embassy’s front office. Together, we made real progress in combating the problem of International Parental Child Abduction — progress that continues to help protect the youngest of my fellow citizens.
In the five years since my first tour as a FSO in San Jose, my adventure has continued at a quick pace. Since departing Costa Rica, I have served as the Political-Military Officer at U.S. Embassy Lilongwe, Malawi; as a Watch Officer in the Department’s Operations Center in Washington, D.C.; and then as a Staff Assistant to the Ambassador in Kabul, Afghanistan. Each assignment has brought me into contact with new experiences, new challenges, and great new colleagues.
It's amazing just how fast you can find yourself on the front lines of U.S. foreign policy when you join the Foreign Service. While at the University of Kentucky, I dreamed of serving my country as a FSO. Now, I am living that dream and the Patterson School started me on my way.”
J.T. joined the Foreign Service in May 2006. He started his fifth assignment at the State Department in September, 2013 as Turkey Desk Officer in Washington, D.C.