2011 LGBT Pride Month: Wesley Reisser
Wesley Reisser is a member of the State Department’s civil service, where he has spent the past eight years working mostly on Middle Eastern issues, first serving as the consular desk officer for Israel, Egypt, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates; then as a desk officer in the Office of Israel & Palestinian Affairs; and currently as an officer in the International Organization (IO) Affairs Bureau’s Office of Human Rights. While serving in IO, Dr. Reisser has had a range of responsibilities including work on Israeli-Palestinian issues, human rights in Iran, Palestinian refugees, and creating a policy on promoting the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. He has also served on the board of directors for Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies (GLIFAA).
Dr. Reisser holds a bachelor's degree, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, in international affairs and history from George Washington University and a master's degree in geography from the same institution. In 2010, he completed a Ph.D. in geography from UCLA with a dissertation on American border proposals and peacemaking efforts following World War I. Dr. Reisser is a part-time professor of geography at George Washington University. He is a regular lecturer on Middle East geography at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute.
Besides his professional work, Dr. Reisser performed and taught Ukrainian folk dance for 17 years and has recently founded a new Eastern European dance group in D.C. Dr. Reisser is the 2007 National Geography Bowl Champion.