TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) welcomes Roberto Powers as the new Diplomat-In-Residence (DIR).
Cynthia Hughes Harris, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, worked in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State DIR program and confirmed Powers as FAMU’s new DIR for 2008-2009.
“The DIR program is making a tremendous impact on the number of students exploring career options in international affairs and engaging in education abroad experience,” said Harris. “We appreciate the significant commitment and investment that the U.S. Department of State has made to FAMU.”
Powers is eager to share the myriad of opportunities with the U.S. Department of State with students and professors at FAMU.
“The DIR program is an extraordinary opportunity to reach out to exceptionally talented students,” said Powers. “I look forward to sharing my career development and experiences as a U.S. diplomat with students who might otherwise never have given thought to the State Department as a career choice. One of my aims will be to give guidance to students as to how to best prepare themselves for some of the challenges facing all aspirants to a foreign service career, and to share with them what such a career entails.”
About Roberto Powers
With 20 years of service with the U.S. Department of State, Powers has been a member of the Senior Foreign Service since 1986. He has had numerous assignments at U.S. diplomatic missions overseas. As a result of his service, Powers has received several Superior Honor Awards and is the winner of the 2003 Barbara Watson Award for Consular Excellence.
Before joining the Foreign Service, Powers worked for seven years in Paris as a lawyer with the Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce (1979-1986).
He has served overseas in countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Asia. His past assignments include postings in Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Italy and South Korea. He has a wealth of experience as a manager and as a leader of large staffs that have implemented important policies, programs and procedures to advance U.S. interests abroad. Most recently, Powers served two years in Khartoum as the Deputy Chief of Mission. While in Morocco, he served for three years as the principal officer and consul general in Casablanca. He has been the chief of the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassies in Damascus and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He has also served as a member of the Foreign Service Promotion Board.
In Washington, D.C., Powers served for two years as a bilateral affairs officer with the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Powers also studied for one year as a full-time student at the American University’s Arabic Language Institute in Cairo.
Powers is a graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A. 1975) and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1978). He was also an exchange student for one year at Smith College and a year at Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California-Berkeley. Powers hails from Cleveland, Ohio and is a 1971 graduate of Deerfield Academy.
Powers speaks and reads fluently French, Italian, and Arabic. He also reads and understands Spanish and Portuguese.
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