Name: Monty McGee

Position: Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State

Best known for: Has played a part in the safety of traveling Americans by disseminating information from the Bureau of Consular Affairs on issues in regions around the world. Consular Affairs is the office responsible for protecting the lives and interests of U.S. citizens abroad, and provides the public with travel advisories and other services. Working as an information officer, McGee, 27, has educated several different groups of travelers through outreach campaigns. This has included providing travel safety information to members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community; informing professionals in the student exchange world about the bureau’s role in assisting American students in trouble overseas; and helping raise awareness about international abductions of children by their parents. Last year, 1,144 children were abducted from the United States and brought to other countries, with the highest numbers taken to Mexico (416) and the United Kingdom (40).

McGee also provides guidance for State Department press briefings on consular issues, with details on abductions, adoptions, visa matters and, particularly, cases involving American citizens in distress abroad. McGee also serves as a resource for Department of State consular and public affairs officers working both domestically and overseas. His next assignment is in Guatemala City in 2014.

Government service: McGee has held internships with the Congressional Research Service and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and has been at the State Department since October.

27-year-old State Dept. foreign service officer Monty McGee. (Courtesy of Monty McGee)

Motivation for service: As a college student, McGee studied in China for two semesters, first in Beijing and then in Hunan Province in southwest China, learning to speak Mandarin Chinese. The experience heightened his interest in international and public service.

Biggest challenge: Staying on top of the 24-hour news cycle and the real-time reports that come from the public through social media. He also has to be careful to respect the privacy of those who have not given the department permission to release their names or details about their situation, while at the same time trying to provide as much information as possible for public release.

Quote: McGee said he has learned how “intricate the diplomacy process can be and how we take great care here in the State Department in protecting citizens abroad.” He also has come to appreciate “the professionals who conduct diplomacy in some of the most challenging places in the world and the dedication people have.”

— From the Partnership
for Public Service

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