About this. This blog collects pieces of, perhaps, memorabilia as I make a career transition. Yes, memorabilia we shall call it, pieces of the old, pieces of the new, and pieces of the transition. Might be a bit tricky…
About me is easier.
I was born and raised in Greensboro, NC, where I attended F.D. Bluford Elementary School and Lincoln Street Junior High School. I attended Woodberry Forest School and later, the Governor’s School of North Carolina, a summer enrichment program for the state’s top-ranked high school students.
After my sophomore year in college I enlisted in the Navy Nuclear Power program. Following engineering training, I reported to the Sturgeon-class fast attack submarine, the USS Hammerhead (SSN-663). Fifteen months and several operational patrols later, I volunteered for the pre-commissioning crew of the USS Michigan (SSBN-727 (B)). At the end of my enlistment I applied to and was selected for Naval Science Institute in Newport, Rhode Island, where I completed coursework, then on to the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) unit at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL. There I earned a Naval commission and a B.S. degree in Economics (summa cum laude, Distinguished Military Graduate).
Following graduation and surface warfare training in Newport, RI, I reported to the Coontz-class guided missile destroyer, the USS Luce (DDG-38), where I completed division officer tours in engineering and weapons systems. In 1990, while still on active duty, I took and passed the Foreign Service written and oral exams, and joined the Foreign Service in May, 1992. Later, while assigned to Embassy London, I completed an M.A. degree, after hours, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London).
My most recent assignment, capping a 21-year foreign service career, was as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Near East Affairs bureau (2011-2012). I am a graduate of the 26th Senior Executive Threshold Seminar course (2009) and the 2010-2011 class of MIT Seminar XXI. I received four Superior Honor Awards and five Meritorious Honor Awards over the course of my foreign service career. I speak Portuguese, a bit of Arabic, and survivable French and Spanish and served overseas in Guinea-Bissau, London, Angola, Ghana, Egypt, Iraq, and Syria. I mentored over a dozen entry level foreign service officers, many of whom have now entered or are well established in the mid-level ranks.
In retirement (rewirement, as they call it), I plan to expand participation in hobbies and interests I have always had, writing poetry, book trading, and beekeeping. I am pursuing (it is a true “pursuit”) a graduate degree in library and information science with hopes of a next career in the growing information field. My community involvement includes board membership with the North Carolina Governor’s School Foundation and the Foggy Bottom Association.