WASHINGTON, D.C. – Having been confirmed by the United States Senate, Fort Loramie High School alumnus Michael Anthony is preparing for a job with the federal government that will take him abroad.
Anthony, a 2006 Fort Loramie graduate, was one of 264 Foreign Service officers approved by the Senate via a voice vote on July 31. He has been informed of his assignment that is slated to begin in September but declined to name the country as the assignment isn’t official yet.
“It’s great,” Anthony said of being confirmed for the job within the Department of State. “It’s extremely exciting. I’m looking forward to it. A lot of challenges, but it’s part of the job I signed up for.”
The United States has more than 270 embassies, consulates and other diplomatic missions throughout the world. There are almost 8,000 generalists like Anthony serving the United States across the globe.
Anthony will work in the Bureau of Consular Affairs with a primary job responsibility of serving fellow Americans in whatever nation he is assigned. Officers help American citizens deal with disasters, medical emergencies, deaths, arrests, births and adoptions. They also assist foreign nationals with immigration and visa services.
To prepare for his position, Anthony is going through an intensive training period that includes learning a foreign language. He said he’s functional in five foreign languages and enjoys learning them.
“It doesn’t really feel like work, and that’s helpful,” he said.
He’s also getting ready for the upcoming move along with his wife, Kendall McCabe Anthony, and their twin sons, who were born in May.
“Doing language training, having the kids and planning for this move that’s coming up pretty soon, a lot going on,” he said.
While there’s a lot of stress that comes with a career in the United States Foreign Service, Anthony said, it’s a career path he’s pursued since he was a 16-year-old student at Fort Loramie High School.
“I definitely had an interest since I was young in world history, world events, American foreign policy, and I just sort of pursued it as I went on and discovered a diplomatic career seemed interesting to me,” the son of Mike and Mary Anthony, of Fort Loramie, said.
During his days in high school, Anthony was given time off from school to attend a week-long event for students in Washington, D.C. He was introduced to the field of international relations, met some of the Americans serving their country and met fellow students from around the world.
“Eye opening,” he said of the experience. “Absolutely eye opening. That was probably the first time I met somebody from another country and not just met them but became friends.”
After graduating from Fort Loramie, Anthony earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies from American University in Washington, D.C. During his undergraduate years he emphasized study abroad experiences and spent three semesters at foreign universities.
He then earned a master’s degree in international affairs from the Graduate Institute of International Studies and Development in Geneva, Switzerland. While in Switzerland, he also gained experience working at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations and the World Trade Organization.
He’s had both government and private sector jobs since earning his degrees, which included working at the State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at the U.S. Consulate in Hyderabad, India.
To earn a Foreign Service position, Anthony was required to pass tests, complete a panel evaluation and complete an oral assessment – a process that started in 2014. He then needed to wait to be offered a position within the Foreign Service, receive a security clearance and get an assignment.
“It took quite a while to get through that whole process,” he said.
Anthony’s time abroad has given him a greater appreciation for his upbringing in rural Shelby County and the sense of community and hard working nature of people back home.
“You appreciate things back home more, you start to be able to understand your own country, just understand what it is to be American and our specific part of America and what makes it special,” he said of his time overseas.
Anthony is living in Virginia as he prepares for his upcoming position. He will have opportunities for leave during his time abroad and looks forward to visiting his family in Ohio and his wife’s family in Illinois.
“That’s one of the hardest parts, of course, being away from friends and family,” he said.
Foreign Service assignments generally last two to three years after which Anthony hopes to earn more assignments in other nations. His wife also has worked in the State Department and plans to return to work during their upcoming travels.
There’s always an unknown about safety when it comes to living and traveling abroad, Anthony said, but he’s confident in the American government’s ability to keep its citizens safe.
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