SCOTT AFB, Ill. – Students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville got to hear firsthand what it’s like to be, and what it takes to become, a globetrotting Foreign Service Officer working for the U.S. Department of State Thursday as part of the campus’ annual Global Awareness Week.
“Global Awareness Week presents SIUE students with a unique opportunity to engage various organizations with a strong international component, including the United Nations, the U.S. Department of State, the International Trade Administration, Monsanto Corporation, the Peace Corps, as well as our own SIUE faculty who have received Fulbright awards,” said Ronald Schaefer, director of the Center for International Programs, and Distinguished Research professor, SIUE.
Four POLADS and three other foreign affairs experts representing U.S. Transportation Command, Air Mobility Command and Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, all headquartered at Scott AFB, participated in Thursday’s events.
Richard W. Nelson, foreign policy advisor to Gen. William Fraser, commander of USTRANSCOM, explained his current role, his previous jobs at locations all over the world, his background before joining the Foreign Service and what the requirements are to become a foreign service officer or specialist.
“My role is to provide information and guidance to the commander on foreign policy and diplomatic implications of the command’s global missions, including the commander’s overseas engagements and visits to the command by foreign dignitaries,” said Nelson.
Other POLADS who participated included Kwang Kim of USTRANSCOM, Paul Harrison of AMC and Dr. Phil Seitz of SDDC. They were also joined by other foreign affairs experts from Scott, including U.S. Air Force Col. W.W. “Zeb” Pischnotte, deputy staff judge advocate at AMC; Mike Brogan, International Affairs, USTRANSCOM; and Lt. Col. Jinwook Lee, who is the liaison officer to USTRANSCOM from the Republic of Korea.
“SIUE was extremely pleased to have a team of Foreign Policy Advisors from Scott Air Force Base on campus for Global Awareness Week. Faculty and students alike benefited from their informative presentations. Perhaps most important, however, was the satisfaction shown by students when they had an opportunity for on-on-one discussion with a team member. I am confident our students will not forget this day,” said Schaefer.