President Barack Obama has appointed Gentry O. Smith, a career Foreign Service officer and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., to be director of the Office of Foreign Missions with ambassadorial rank.
Ambassador Smith was initiated into Omega Psi Phi on April 1978 through the Iota Iota Chapter in Raleigh, North Carolina. According to Omega Psi Phi’s national website, “Bro. Smith is the line brother of Tony Knox, 40th Grand Basileus, and was part of the charter line for the Kappa Lambda Chapter at North Carolina State University.”
Ambassador Smith, 54, is originally from Weldon, North Carolina, and attended North Carolina State University, graduating in 1983 with a B.A. in political science. Before joining the State Department in 1987, he was a Raleigh, NC police officer.
Starting off his state department career working in diplomatic security at the department’s Washington field office,Smith got his first overseas posting in 1989, as assistant regional security officer in Cairo, Egypt. In 1991, he returned from Cairo to be part of the Secretary of State’s protective detail.
Ambassador Smith then became a criminal investigative liaison officer for the State Department and later traveled overseas again in 1996 to serve as regional security officer in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma. In 1999 he came back to the US for training at the Foreign Service Institute and after finishing returned to Cairo as deputy regional security officer. Four years later, he was named regional security officer in Tokyo where he was eventually named director of the Office of Physical Security Programs.
“His next post was as deputy assistant secretary and assistant director for countermeasures in October 2009 and he held that job until his nomination to lead the Office of Foreign Missions.
As director of the Office of Foreign Missions, Smith will be responsible for ensuring fair treatment for U.S. missions in other countries and assisting those attached to foreign missions in this country,” AllGov.com states.
Smith is married to his wife Georgette, and the couple have three children.
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