With 28 years of experience advising U.S. ambassadors and other high-level government officials, Phil K. is adept at drafting briefing papers, policy memos, and political analyses.
Thanks to his background in local journalism, he also specializes in personal profiles, short biographies, and human interest stories.
He has developed expertise in such fields as: foreign affairs, higher education, town and gown relations, civil-military relations, cross-cultural communications, and human rights.
Phil K. also has extensive experience editing the drafts of other writers.
Phil K. is a life-long hockey fan and avid follower of the Washington Capitals.
He is a relative newcomer to the world of birdwatching, a hobby he took up with his wife during the pandemic.
Phil K. enjoys cycling and hiking. He recently took a pickleball class, and is eager to get involved in that sport.
To relax, Phil K. enjoys reading history books, particularly about the Civil War.
BA in political science, with an English minor.
Phil K. served 28 years as a political officer in the U.S. Foreign Service. His career involved assignments at the U.S. embassies in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Turkey, Austria, and Peru. He also worked in Washington DC in the State Department bureaus of European Affairs, Human Rights, and Global Talent Management.
His work involved extensive drafting of reporting cables, bios, briefing memos, and decision papers. He also supervised and led teams both abroad and in Washington.
As part of his training, Phil K. studied Spanish, Turkish, and German at the Foreign Service Institute.
Phil K. taught civil-military relations, human rights, and media relations for two years at the Inter-American Defense College in Washington DC. He was assigned to the college as a visiting professor from the Department of State.
Phil K. used lectures, PowerPoint presentations, guest speakers, and group exercises to teach a student body comprising colonel-level security officers from across the Western Hemisphere. The courses formed part of the college's master's degree program.
The topics of his presentations included: the importance of civilian control of the armed forces; international human rights law and humanitarian law; and crisis communications.
As a deputy director in the Department of State's Bureau of Global Talent Management, Phil K. coordinated the assignment of Foreign Service Officers to positions at U.S. missions around the globe. He also provided career advice and mentoring to nearly 400 officers.
The Foreign Service's personnel system oversees the complex process of relocating thousands of officers and family members, as well as their pets and personal belongings, to overseas locations every year. When the COVID-19 pandemic abruptly disrupted this process, Phil K. played a role in developing ad hoc policies to address the crisis, and communicating those policies to anxious colleagues in the field.
Phil K. wrote numerous articles, often under deadline pressure, during his four years as a journalist in Central Pennsylvania. He covered breaking news events, including fires and industrial accidents. He also wrote feature stories on cultural affairs and profiles of local residents.
Much of his work involved reporting on Penn State University, the region's top employer and primary source of culture and recreation. He frequently interviewed university scientists and wrote about their research. He also wrote about issues such as campus development, student admissions, faculty salaries, on-campus social conflict, and town and gown relations.
As a journalist, Phil K. frequently wrote profiles of community leaders in Central Pennsylvania. This included members of the Penn State University faculty, administration, and student body, as well as local residents from outside the university. His articles provided readers with insight into the character and personal histories of figures they may have heard of, but knew little about.
As a Foreign Service Officer, Phil K. often drafted insightful bios of foreign leaders. His work, which was closely read by high-level U.S. government officials, outlined the strengths, weaknesses, goals, and motivations of his subjects. His insights enabled U.S. officials to engage effectively with their foreign counterparts.
Phil K. utilized lectures, guided discussions, PowerPoint presentations, and group exercises to teach civil-military relations, media relations, and human rights at the Inter-American Defense College. Addressing an audience of colonel-level security force officers from across the Western Hemisphere, he analyzed the origins and evolution of the Western concept of civilian control of the armed forces. He also led class discussions on the emerging threats to civilian control in the region today.
As a Foreign Service Officer, Phil K. often briefed members of the U.S. Congress and other Washington visitors on the political situation in the five countries where he served (Dominican Republic, Panama, Turkey, Austria, and Peru). His briefings prepared U.S. officials for their meetings with foreign interlocutors. Phil K. also delivered presentations to university students in Europe and Latin America covering the political system, history, and culture of the United States.
Phil K.'s work in the U.S. Foreign Service included the drafting of numerous reports on official meetings. He frequently delivered official demarches to foreign diplomats, stating the U.S. position on a bilateral or multilateral issue. He would then draft a summary of the host nation's response.
As Kosovo Desk Officer at the Department of State, Phil K. was responsible for drafting memos outlining State's position on Kosovo policy for internal, U.S. interagency meetings.
During his four years at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Phil K. drafted the annual, congressionally mandated report on the human rights situation in Turkey.
He often served as notetaker for meetings of the U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. ambassadors abroad, and other top officials. His reports served as the official records of those meetings.
While serving at U.S. embassies abroad, Phil K. drafted numerous reporting cables for policymakers in Washington. His reports covered such topics as human rights in Turkey, national elections in Peru, far-right extremist parties in Austria, and government corruption in Panama.
Phil K. established close working relationships with government leaders, opposition figures, civil society activists, academics, journalists, and security officials in the countries where he served. His conversations with these interlocutors informed his reporting.