Saturday, June 20, 2009

State Department Bios of GLIFAA members

This year, in honor of Gay Pride month, for the first time ever, the Office of Civil Rights at the State Department did what it has for Black History month, Hispanic History month, etc. It posted bios of GLIFAA members. Fairness and inclusiveness wins again!

Gay and Lesbian Pride Month: Bryan Dalton

Bryan Dalton, FS-01, joined the Department in 1987. A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, he studied in Warsaw and interned in Niger.

His early overseas tours as a consular officer included Mexico City, Taipei, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. In 1995 he helped open Embassy Hanoi as a political officer. Returning to the Department, he was desk officer for Benin, Togo, Cote d'Ivoire and the Gambia, then for Sierra Leone during the height of its civil war.

Through the Department’s mid-career studies program, he earned a Masters in Public Policy at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School in 2001. After a tour as program officer for the International Visitor Program in New York City, he served four years as Consul General in Bucharest.

In 1992 he helped found Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA). During his presidency of the organization from 1998-2000, GLIFAA worked with the Department to end discriminatory practices and establish the Members of Household policy. In these efforts, he has been motivated by the counsel and example of many current and former Department employees who lost their jobs or endured harassment due to their sexual orientation, and by the courage of LGBTs who have broken down barriers in their foreign affairs careers.

Currently, he is chief of the consular section and GLIFAA post representative in Chennai. He is accompanied by his partner of 17 years, Mr. Nam Nguyen, and their adopted Romanian street dog, Devi. Dalton and Nguyen have served four foreign and two domestic tours together.

Gay and Lesbian Pride Month: Patrick Wingate

Patrick R. Wingate joined the Department of State as a consular-coned Foreign Service Officer in January 2004. He and his family served first in San Salvador, El Salvador and then in Zagreb, Croatia. Their next tour is Tbilisi, Georgia.

Before joining the Foreign Service Patrick worked for State and USAID from 1993 through 2003 in Russia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he served as Washington-based program manager for USAID/OTI projects in Sierra Leone, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Patrick and his Canadian partner, Rami Shakra, were married in Canada in September 2003, and their two children Canaan and Maya were born in 2004 in Guatemala. The Shakra-Wingate Family proudly serves the United States of America abroad, and hopes to be a cultural example of the rich diversity and equality their country has to offer for all families, both foreign and domestic.

Gay and Lesbian Pride Month: Nell Robinson

Nell Robinson is a second tour foreign service officer currently serving in Embassy Kabul’s political section covering the human rights portfolio. Prior to this tour she served as a consular officer for two years in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Her next assignment is the economics long course at FSI.

Before joining the State Department in 2005, Nell worked as a staff attorney at the North Carolina Court of Appeals. She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Nell’s partner of ten years, Rachel Mandal, served as newsletter editor in Ciudad Juarez. During the March Entry Level Professionals conference in Kathmandu, Nell encouraged the Director General to re-visit the policy prohibiting Members of Household (MOHs) from applying for EFM jobs in Kabul. During her tour in Ciudad Juarez, she organized the Consulate’s first gay pride day celebration which was extremely well received by both Locally Engaged Staff and Foreign and Civil Service Professionals there.

Gay and Lesbian Pride Month: Ken Kero

Ken Kero joined the U.S. Foreign Service January 2000. He has served in Rio de Janeiro, Baghdad, Washington, and currently Berlin, and is heading out to serve as Economic and Commercial Officer in Colombo, Sri Lanka this summer. While serving in Berlin, Ken met and, after a two-and-a-half year courtship, married his husband, David Kero-Mentz. In 2009, he received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award for his work on arms control and disarmament issues. He has twice served on the board of GLIFAA and remains active in supporting equality both at State and with national organizations.

Prior to joining State, Mr. Kero was a legislative staffer on Capitol Hill, working first for Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and later Ellen O. Tauscher (D-CA). He grew up in Vermont and graduated from the George Washington University, where he earned his BA in International Affairs and his Master’s in Public Administration. In his spare time, Ken and his husband like to travel and rest up from traveling.

Gay and Lesbian Pride Month: J. Michelle Schohn and Mary E. Glantz

J. Michelle Schohn and Mary E. Glantz are a tandem couple serving in Washington, D.C. Dr. Glantz entered the Foreign Service in 2002 as a political-coned Foreign Service Officer and served her first tour in Baku as a political officer. Ms. Schohn was Dr. Glantz’s Member of Household until 2004, when she joined the Foreign Service as a public diplomacy-coned Foreign Service Officer. From 2005 to 2007, Dr. Glantz and Ms. Schohn served in Jerusalem as consular/political officers. In 2007, they returned to Washington, D.C., where Dr. Glantz is currently serving as the Russia Desk internal political affairs officer. Ms. Schohn served one year on the INR Watch and is currently the Special Assistant to the INR Front Office. In June, Dr. Glantz will move to the Poland Desk and Ms. Schohn will serve as a Press Officer in the Spokesman’s office.

Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Dr. Glantz completed a PhD in history at Temple University in Philadelphia. She is the author of FDR and the Soviets, a study of United States–Soviet relations during the Roosevelt Administration. She earned a B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in Soviet and East European Studies from the University of London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Ms. Schohn was an archaeologist and is a PhD candidate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned a B.A. in English/Journalism and an M.A. in anthropology from the University of South Carolina, and is a member of the PeeDee Indian Nation of Beaver Creek. Ms. Schohn and Dr. Glantz have been together since 1999 and were married in the United Church of Christ in Chapel Hill, NC in 2002.

Gay and Lesbian Pride Month: Ajit Joshi

Ajit Joshi is a Senior Program Officer in the Program, Policy, and Management Office in the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID. Previously, he served as Special Assistant to the Counselor Ambassador Mosina H. Jordan, Team Leader for NGO capacity building in conflict affected areas managing a $22 million NGO strengthening portfolio, Acting Division Chief managing a staff overseeing a $41 million communication, peace building, and governance program in Africa, and Conflict Management Specialist in Africa, during which time he earned USAID’s Superior Honor Award.

Mr. Joshi is the Policy Director of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) and he serves as the GLIFAA representative to the USAID Executive Diversity Council and has previously served as an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Counselor. He published the article, "Achieving Full Diversity in the Foreign Service," in the Foreign Service Journal and has received a Superior Accomplishment Award for Special Acts and Suggestions as well as an Equal Employment Opportunity Award for launching initiatives to improve diversity at USAID. In addition to GLIFAA, he is the Diversity Co-Chair for the National Capitol Area Steering Committee for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT advocacy organization.

Mr. Joshi received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University, a Fulbright Fellowship to study in India, and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

Outside of work and LGBT advocacy, Mr. Joshi teaches yoga and meditation and loves the outdoors.

Gay and Lesbian Pride Month: Clayton Bond and Ted Osius

Clayton Bond and Ted Osius met in Washington, DC, in 2004, at a monthly business meeting of Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA) – the officially-recognized organization representing the concerns of gay and lesbian personnel and their families in the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and other foreign affairs agencies and offices in the U.S. Government. Ted was then the deputy director of the Korea desk and Clayton was a Watch Officer in the Department’s 24/7 Operations Center. They were married in Vancouver, Canada in June 2006 and had a commitment ceremony in Ted’s home state of Maryland the following month.

For the past three years, they were posted together at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, where Ted was the Minister Counselor for Political Affairs and Clayton was first an Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer and, later, a General Services Officer. Previously, Ted served as Embassy Bangkok’s Regional Environmental Affairs Officer, and as Senior Adviser on International Affairs to Vice President Al Gore, with a portfolio encompassing Asia, international economics and trade issues. He also served in the Philippines, the Vatican, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Clayton served previously as a Recruiter for Department, covering the Southeast U.S., and as a Consular Officer in Bogota.

Ted wrote The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance: Why It Matters and How To Strengthen It (Published in 2002 by CSIS/Praeger). He earned his B.A. from Harvard University, and his M.A. from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. He edited and researched Let’s Go: Israel and Egypt, Let’s Go: Greece, Let’s Go: Italy, and Let’s Go: Europe while an undergraduate. In late June 2009, he will begin a tour as Deputy Chief of Mission in Jakarta.

Clayton has a Master’s degree in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford, where he was a Fulbright Scholar; a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Hampton University. In August 2009, he will join Embassy Singapore as Assistant General Services Officer.

Gay and Lesbian Pride Month: Robin S. Brooks

Robin S. Brooks is a career Foreign Service Officer currently serving in the State Department Operations Center and assigned to the Political Section at Embassy Sarajevo starting summer 2010. She previously served as American Citizens’ Services Chief and Non-Immigrant Visa Chief in Ankara Turkey, and before that was the human rights negotiator at the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Before joining the Foreign Service, Robin taught political science at Sofia University in Bulgaria and also worked as a translator for the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, an independent human rights NGO.

Ms. Brooks is the recipient of two Department Superior Honor Awards for her human rights work, in 2005 and 2006, as well as a Meritorious Honor Award in 2008 for her work to facilitate the resettlement of Iraqi refugees to the U.S. through Turkey.

Robin is a native of Pueblo, CO, and holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in political science. She is also a 1995 graduate of Smith College.

Gay and Lesbian Pride Month: Eric Nelson

Eric Nelson is the 49th U.S. Consul General in Munich, Germany. As Consul General for Bavaria, he is working to expand and strengthen partnerships between Bavaria and the United States, focusing on security cooperation, citizen diplomacy, and business and investment ties.

Mr. Nelson joined the Foreign Service in 1990. He most recently served in Washington in the Office of Global Support Services and Innovation and as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Administration, where he developed strategies for improving the quality and efficiency of the State Department's support of overseas posts.

Mr. Nelson has served overseas as the Management Consul in Milan, Budget and Finance Attaché in Mexico City, and as a Vice Consul in Frankfurt and Santo Domingo.

He began his career in public service as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching math and science in Liberia, West Africa from 1984-1985. Mr. Nelson, a resident of Texas, graduated from Rice University of Houston, Texas, in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. He also studied German in a Rutgers University program at the Universität Konstanz in 1982. In addition to German, he speaks Italian and Spanish. In 1988, Mr. Nelson received a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He has received the Department of State's Superior Honor Award twice and the Meritorious Honor Award five times.

Consul General Nelson received the “IDIZEM Dialogpreis 2008” in Munich in recognition of his engagement for inter-religious and intercultural dialogue.


embee said...

We are so proud of all of you. Thank you for all the incredible personal sacrifices you have made for all of us. Thank goodness times are a changin. We salute you!

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