By Nayab Khan
The Council for Career Enhancement and Professionalization (CCEP) and the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) partnered for a brown bag event last November to discuss careers in conflict prevention. CCEP, one of 13 employee affinity groups at the Department, provides resources on career enhancement and is dedicated to facilitating networking opportunities for its members. The CCEP brown bag featured Deputy Director Chris Wendell, who leads CSO’s Office of East Asian and Pacific, South and Central Asian affairs. CSO anticipates, prevents and responds to conflict that undermines U.S. national security interests.
Wendell offered attendees career advice and highlighted skills, interests and experiences valued by the Department. He encouraged up-and-coming officers to use big data to inform policy-making, address a new era of great power competition and volunteer for stretch roles.
CSO provides data-driven analysis and forward-deployed staff to shape policy, strategy and programs on conflict prevention and stabilization. The bureau organizes its work around five lines of effort: security sector stabilization, peace process negotiations, electoral violence and political stability, atrocity prevention, and countering violent extremism. CSO staff come from “a wide range of backgrounds and experiences,” said Wendell. “We have veterans, FSOs, CSOs, contractors and interns.” Wendell encouraged staff to foster growth and creativity and to inspire the next set of leaders at the Department.
“I’m very grateful for CCEP’s events,” said Human Resource Specialist Ariana Sailer. “[Wendell] gave an excellent overview of CSO’s unique mission and concrete tips on developing skill sets that align with career goals and the Department’s needs.” The CCEP Board works diligently to serve its members and the greater Department community to help navigate tough career questions. To learn more about the work that CCEP does or to attend an upcoming CCEP event, e-mail CCEP@state.gov.
Nayab Khan is a foreign affairs officer in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.