Monday, November 1 was Handshake Day for the Summer 2022 bid cycle. My handshake email came early in the morning and was not a total surprise to me. The Bureau of Consular Affairs had sent me an email on October 25 to tell me I was the Bureau Leading Candidate, or BLC, for the position and inquire whether it was still a valid bid for me. It was. I was very interested in the work and had interviewed for the position twice, including once from my family vacation at the Iberostar (on my birthday, unbeknownst to the interviewer!). None of my political coned bids had ultimately gone to the final stage, so I wasn’t expecting further BLCs. CA wasn’t going to offer me more than one choice, so it had come down to this. V and I discussed all of the implications and decided, as we had when we’d decided to bid jobs in that area, that we could make it work.
And so I was greatly honored to accept the most beautiful flag I’ve accepted yet. But of course, I’m biased.
Previous flags accepted…
Mexico 2018 🇲🇽
Beginning sometime in summer 2022, I will begin my fourth diplomatic tour in Washington, DC, in the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues (CA/OCS/CI) working on international parental child abduction cases. I will share more about the position in the future.
In the meantime, I’m so pleased that V and I will be relocating back to the northern Virginia/Washington DC area for two to three years. Prior to our 2015 departure for Uzbekistan, we had lived in either Virginia or DC continuously since 1998 (V) and 2006 (me). And of course we spent several weeks in 2017 between tours to Uzbekistan and Australia there, as well several months in 2019 and 2020 between Australia and Mexico.
So northern Virginia is an area we know well and where we’ve lived together the longest. The Commonwealth of Virginia is where our cars are still registered, where we still vote and pay taxes, and is more home to us as a couple than anywhere else in the United States.
At first I admit I was a little shocked I wasn’t going overseas again because I was picturing an overseas assignment in my mind. But the more I pictured the state of the world and what’s best for me right now, despite the expense of a domestic assignment where no housing subsidy is provided such as the military receives, the more I realized this is the time to come back. I am particularly excited to add value to an office doing important work to help U.S. citizens, while embracing the additional flexibility, productivity, and safety provided by a hybrid work schedule (telework + in-person work) as COVID becomes endemic and the risks to the immunocompromised deepen.
The area is expensive, congested, and humid. And did I mention expensive? But it will welcome us home until it is time for the next foreign adventure. And I for one will need to find interesting subject matter for the blog that does not rely on the intrigue of an overseas life… I suspect I won’t be able to avoid the intrigue of the Washington, DC life diplomatic this time.
In 2002 I fell in love with DC and the potential to work there someday. My heart was broken there in 2004 on two Peace Corps medevacs that ended my volunteer service three months early. In 2006 after finishing grad school I moved there to start building my career, and to my astonishment stayed nearly nine years. Perhaps in 2022 I can rediscover the city anew and share it in an exciting, career-inspiring, and brand new way for others too.