Allegheny College Hosts Visiting Diplomat Dale Giovengo
Dale Giovengo’s career as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State has spanned posts in France, Albania, Kuwait, Pakistan, Switzerland, Iraq and, now, Allegheny College.
Giovengo is serving as a Visiting Diplomat in the Allegheny Gateway during the 2018–19 academic year. Visiting Diplomats are career foreign service officers and specialists located throughout the U.S. who provide guidance and advice on careers, internships and fellowships to students and professionals in the communities they serve.
“It is rare for a liberal arts college to host a Visiting Diplomat,” says Laura Reeck, professor of French and chair of the International Studies Program at Allegheny. “Typically, they are posted to large research universities in more central locations.”
Giovengo lives in Western Pennsylvania and visited Allegheny last year to give a talk and meet with students interested in taking the Foreign Service Officer Training test. It wasn’t his first experience with the College, though: his oldest daughter, Leah, graduated from Allegheny in 2000.
During the fall semester at Allegheny, Giovengo has worked with students in the Law and Policy Program, participated in a Gator Day panel on diplomacy and development, and held office hours to answer questions and share information about opportunities with the State Department.
“It’s fun to educate students about what is possible,” Giovengo says. “The foreign service combines dedication to our country with very fascinating experiences.”
Giovengo has presented in classes at Allegheny and, in the spring semester, he will teach a course, “The Practice of Diplomacy” (POLSC 291). The two-credit course, which focuses on diplomacy as a means of solving major disputes in today’s world, will be offered in Modules A and B (January 14 to March 4, 2019).
As part of his work, Giovengo also visits other schools in Western Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. Before joining the Diplomat in Residence team in 2017, he managed the Medical Services Support Iraq Program.
Giovengo’s experience in embassy operations includes roles as a human resources officer, financial management officer, management officer and contract officer representative. He has held a number of hardship posts, including in Iraq and Pakistan.
During his time in Lahore, Pakistan, Giovengo was one of only 20 Americans in a city of 10 million. “It’s an opportunity where you immerse yourself in a culture and interact with local people,” Giovengo says of the foreign service. “I tell students that, if they don’t like to travel, it’s not the job for them.”
Giovengo entered the foreign service after a 36-year career in the retail industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh and master’s degree in leadership and ethics from Duquesne University.
Giovengo says he appreciates Allegheny’s focus providing a rigorous academic experience and a supportive environment for students.
“I like speaking with students and hearing about their interests and goals,” he says. “I think their energy is catchy, and I enjoy that.”