The Office of International Education and Development had its U.S. State Department Day as a part of their International Awareness Week. Director of Regional Mid-Eastern Affairs Raymond Maxwell gave the keynote address.
The diplomat covers all the “cross-cutting issues” like terrorists financing, contracts, personals and all the things that keep our embassy running smoothly. Maxwell manages 15 employees and has served in places around the world like Cairo, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Angola and London. He was the Chief of Staff in the Ambassador’s Office in Baghdad and was a management officer for a part of East Africa.
The FAMU graduate told an audience in the Foster-Tanner Band Rehearsal Hall that his most memorable experience on “the Hill” was the words of former FAMU President Frederick Humphries at the halftime of football games, “Rattler’s will strike, strike and strike again. The first strike is for passion, the second strike is for accuracy and the third is for precision,” Maxwell said. He told students to be persistent in accomplishing goals.
There are only 16 diplomats in the nation and FAMU has one on campus.
Diplomat in resident and U.S. Ambassador Miriam Hughes, told the audience future global leaders that they represent the President and the United States.
“The way you conduct yours, your ability to reach out to other people, will make all the difference in the world as do other people’s impression of America,” said Hughes.
She has worked 30 years in counseling, policy and management positions in places like Mexico, London, Bangkok and Greece. Ambassador Hughes speaks Spanish and Greek.
Maxwell speaks Portuguese and Arabic.
“Diplomacy is not static. It moves. It doesn’t keep still,” said Maxwell. He said the competition has expanded and foreign languages will generally influence strong careers.
“FAMU has a culture that’s unique from any other college or HBCU. We have to capitalize on this success.”
Maxwell told students that opportunities are “within your grasps.”
“There are people who have been in these same halls, just connect the dots and network,” Maxwell said.
Hughes said relationships between countries and individuals are changing. The session offered a wealth of opportunities.
Florida Legislative employee Lindsey Whitehead, 28, and a graduate from the University of Florida said her interest in Foreign Service is what led her to the session.
“I think this is the best way to get to know about jobs that the U.S. Department has to offer.”