October 19, 2010

Alumna to discuss her U.S. Foreign Service career

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumna next week will share her experiences of three decades with the U.S. Foreign Service.

Janice L. Jacobs, the Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, will speak during a luncheon that begins at 11:30 a.m., Monday, Oct. 25, in the SIUC Student Center, Ballroom B.

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is sponsoring the event -- part of the Jeanne Hurley Simon Lecture Series.

“Janice Jacobs represents the best of Southern Illinois,” said David Yepsen, Institute director. “Her career and accomplishments as a diplomat are good indications of what’s possible with an SIUC degree and it’s nice to see her back home. Her remarks will also help shed light on U.S. foreign policy and the state of the world today.”

The luncheon and lecture are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required for meal considerations and seating is limited. To register, contact institute project coordinator Christina Rich at 618/453-4078 or by email at clrich@siu.edu by Friday, Oct. 22. Open seating will be available for those who wish to only listen to the speech and not be included in the meal. Jacobs will present her lecture at noon.

Jacobs graduated from SIUC in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in French and English, and is a 30-year career diplomat. Prior to her nomination and confirmation to her current post in the U.S. Department of State in 2008, Jacobs was the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.

Her career includes a mix of assignments both overseas and in Washington, D.C., including working in the State Department's Visa Office, Operations Center and Office of Cuban Affairs. She joined the Foreign Service in 1980 after many years of overseas experience as a Foreign Service dependant.

Jacobs’ father, Murphysboro native Robert Jacobs, was a dean of SIUC’s International Services, and he served many years with the State Department as an educational consultant in several countries, including Ethiopia, Nigeria, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Her mother lives in Murphysboro.

Janice Jacobs presented a lecture at SIUC in November 2005, while deputy assistant secretary of state for visa services.

Jacobs earned a master's degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in 1995.

The Jeanne Hurley Simon Lecture Series honors Public Policy Institute founder Paul Simon's first wife, Jeanne, who died in February 2000. The series brings in prestigious speakers in the field of politics, government and other vital issues to campus.

For more information on this or any other institute program, contact the institute at 618/453-4009 or visit www.paulsimoninstitute.org