The Foreign Service Journal - March 2017
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MARCH 2017


affinity for Greek culture and similarity in religions, Karavites

gained immediate acceptance there, fostering much closer and

personal relationships in all of his interactions. His work in Ser-

bia is an exceptional example of cooperation between the RSO

and his or her host-nation counterparts.

A Common Theme

A common theme among all of these agents is their call

to public service. For Hornik-Tran, the seeds of service were

planted by the international organization workers who helped

him in the refugee camps. He was deeply moved by their gen-

erosity, commitment and dedication, and he promised himself

that he, too, would someday serve others. DS afforded him the

opportunity to fulfill that dream. “Working for DS has allowed

me to have an awesome opportunity to travel around the world,

meet interesting people and, last but not least, exchange my suc-

cess story as a former refugee from Vietnam who achieved the

American dream,” says Tran.

May, who grew up living the FS life, explained that in her

childhood, she was always surrounded by members of the

Foreign Service. She considers many of them her extended fam-

ily, and says they shaped her life, direction and career choice.

May was drawn to join DS ranks, deciding to follow in her

father’s footsteps to serve as a DS agent. May hopes one day to

be assigned to Colombia, where she can fulfill her lifelong goal

of adopting a child from the orphanage from which she was


After joining the Marine Corps Reserves during his junior

year of high school, Christopher Gu’s heartfelt dedication to the

United States grew, as did his desire to serve. Fortuitously, his

reserve unit included an active DS agent, Pat Moore, who told

him about the Bureau of Diplomatic Security. In China, being

Agents from all backgrounds

have amazing stories to

tell about their pathway to

joining DS, but for immigrants,

or children of immigrants,

the stories are especially