. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) welcomes its newly selected Diplomat-In-Residence, Jay Smith. Smith is charged with building awareness and attracting students’ interest in the U.S. Department of State and the Foreign Service at career fairs and other programs implemented.
“I want to take every opportunity available to reach out and speak to the students,” said Smith. “Educate them on what it is we do, what we can offer them in a way of a career and try to recruit some bright young people to come in behind me.”
Smith received his bachelor’s of art from the University of Notre Dame in 1975. He was invited to attend the United States Army War College as a State Department officer from 1994 to 1995 and successfully completed the course of study given to senior military officers in senior leadership studies.
Smith has served extensively overseas, performing services across the spectrum of Foreign Service skills. He began his career in 1981 in Lilongwe, Malawi and went on to serve in Indonesia, France, the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), the Philippines, Romania, Haiti and – most recently – Senegal where he served alternately as Chargé d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission.
Smith was promoted into the Senior Foreign Service in 2003 and now holds the personal rank of Minister-Counselor. His service has been recognized with two individual Superior Honor awards, two group Superior Honor awards and one individual Meritorious Honor award. He speaks French, Indonesian (Bahasa) and Romanian.
Smith insists that FAMU students have an advantage because he is stationed on campus and concurrently serving as a diplomat for the east coast region.
“I’m looking for people who are open-minded, bright and who are open to working overseas,” said Smith. “They must be resilient and dedicated.”
Smith and his wife of 34 years, the former Jacqueline Billy of Saumur, France, have five children.
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