Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership

The Diplomat-in-Residence Program (DIR)

Diplomats in Residence (DIRs) are career Foreign Service Officers located throughout the U.S. who provide guidance and advice on careers, internships and fellowships to students and professionals in the communities they serve.

Located in the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership, Room 416, the Diplomat-in-Residence is available to answer questions and share insight with those interested in Foreign and Civil Service careers, internships and fellowships.  The DIR provides a direct link to the U.S. State Department as well as other government agencies with an international focus. The DIR also serves as a resource to faculty and students, makes classroom presentations, serves as speaker at international events, and counsels students who plan to take the Foreign Service Examination.

Mark J. Powell
U.S. Department of State
Diplomat-in-Residence, Morehouse College

On 18 August 2014, Mark J. Powell began his assignment as Diplomat-in-Residence at Morehouse College, in which capacity he is responsible for U.S. Department of State recruitment in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.  A veteran career Foreign Service officer, Mr. Powell served most recently in Washington as Senior Advisor to the Coordinator of the Department’s Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, an interagency office staffed by State personnel, U.S. military officers, Department of Defense civilians, and intelligence community representatives, to assess and counter extremist messaging by al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations, as well as the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

As U.S. Consul General in Leipzig, Germany (2011-2013), Powell was the senior U.S. diplomat in the German states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia.  Before that, he served in Iraq as team leader of an interagency, embedded Provincial Reconstruction Team (ePRT), working closely with successive U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams to strengthen civil society and the rule of law in the highly conflictive area immediately west of Baghdad.  Powell was Deputy Director of the Office of Western European Affairs (2007-2009), helping to shape diplomatic relations with 14 countries, but focusing primarily on the UK, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.  Previous assignments included graduate study at the U.S. Naval War College; Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica (2003-2007); deputy head of the Political Section at the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela; Desk Officer for Colombia at the Department of State; Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See; Desk Officer for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Affairs, Washington; member of the Department of State’s Secretariat Staff; Watch Officer in the Operations Center; and as Political Officer and Vice Consul at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador; and in the Dominican Republic.

Powell holds a BSFS from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and a Master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, R.I.  He was decorated (honorifically) by Pope John Paul II a Knight Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great.  Powell’s personal interests include history, soccer, Formula One, classic automobiles and horology.  His foreign languages are Spanish, Italian and German.  Powell was born in San Antonio, Texas, and grew up near Dayton, Ohio.