The Foreign Service Journal, April 2024

58 APRIL 2024 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL bit of advice to Foreign Service o cers approaching or at retirement eligibility: “Be exible!” Keep your feelers out, know what your areas of interest are for a follow-on career, and adequately prepare yourself to explain what you can bring to a company, nongovernmental organization, academic institution, think tank, or any other organization you may want to join. While the transition to the private sector was complicated, my new organization was very supportive. And it helped that we were doing a lot of the same things we did in DS: threat analysis, preparation of travelers going outside their comfort zones, implementing security programs, and following up and responding to travelers and expats with particular needs, both in everyday situations and emergencies. And, just as in DS, it has always been necessary to keep up on current events and be aware of what is happening throughout the world. It is important to create a selfinventory of skills, interests, and particular capabilities, with an eye toward explaining exactly what these skills can do for your prospective organization. ink of foreign area expertise, foreign languages, crisis management, analytical research, oral/written communication, leadership/organizational management, and other valuable skills that you may possess that are practiced in the Foreign John Rendeiro at the border crossing into Ukraine at Vysne Nemecke, Slovakia, on March 12, 2022. JOHN RENDEIRO It is important to create a self-inventory of skills, interests, and particular capabilities, with an eye toward explaining exactly what these skills can do for your prospective organization. Service—they could prove very valuable to a prospective organization. Much of my work at International SOS has mirrored what I did at State. For example, I’ve had the privilege of working with extremely capable and highly motivated people, who also have foreign area and language knowledge and a genuine passion for what they do to help people and save lives. ere has never been a dull moment in my time with the company, and I’ve learned so much from my colleagues. Our network of 26 global assistance centers and thousands of medical and security providers worldwide has a true global reach. A couple of my most memorable moments with International SOS include entering Georgia via Azerbaijan with the help of one of our providers in Baku in 2008, joining our team in Tbilisi to support local clients. Another was venturing into Haiti after the earthquake in 2010, again working with a provider and our medical team in Santo Domingo, both overland and by helicopter, to reconnoiter routes and extract clients. In both instances, my Russian (thank you, FSI and Embassy Moscow!) and French were of value, and our missions were a success. In the end, most of my job has involved building relationships with security clients and assisting them in implementing their programs. I’ve enjoyed a tremendous follow-on career with International SOS, and I fully recognize it wouldn’t have been possible without the Foreign Service. John G. Rendeiro Jr. served 21 years as a Diplomatic Security special agent, retiring from the Senior Foreign Service at the grade of Minister Counselor in 2006. Prior to that, he served in the U.S. Army as a military intelligence o cer. He has been with International SOS as vice president, Global Security and Intelligence, and senior adviser, for more than 17 years. RETIREMENT SUPPLEMENT