HOSTAGE DIPLOMACY & POLITICS
A World Affairs Council Speaker Series event
KIMBERLY R. FURNISH
Director of American Citizen Services
U.S. Department of State
Hostage diplomacy, the taking of hostages under the guise of law for use as foreign policy leverage, is on the rise globally. Countries around the world—China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela—are repeat offenders, and Western hostages are often the targets. We’ll hear from Kimberly R. Furnish, Director of American Citizen Services at the U.S. Department of State, on this disturbing geopolitical trend, and what might be done to mitigate it.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Kim Furnish is a career Foreign Service Officer currently serving as the Department of State’s Director of American Citizen Services. Kim’s prior tour was as the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Attaché at the United States Consulate General in Karachi, Pakistan. Previously she also served as Chief of American Citizen Services at Embassy Seoul, which has a consular district of more than 200,000 U.S. citizens. In Seoul, Kim served as the lead on Noncombatant Evacuation Operation issues. In 2018, Kim had the responsibility of running the U.S. Embassy team which provided services to U.S. citizens who visited Korea for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympics. She also served as the head Embassy control officer to Vice President Mike Pence in his role as the chief official to the U.S. Government’s Official Delegation to the Opening Ceremonies. Kim’s other previous tours include Melbourne, Seoul, Bogota, Curacao and in the Department in the Bureau of Consular Affairs and the Bureau of African Affairs. Kim was a runner-up for the Barbara M. Watson Award for Consular Excellence in both 2018 and 2019. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Kim worked in corporate fundraising. Kim earned a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University in her hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana and she speaks Spanish, French, and Dutch.
Event will be hosted online via Zoom
Please RSVP to receive event call-in details.
PLEASE NOTE: Unless expressly prohibited by the presenter, we record all of our virtual events and upload them to our YouTube account. By registering for this event, you consent to being a part of this recording. If you do not wish to appear in the recording, please be sure to leave your camera and microphone off during the presentation. Thank you!
This event is sponsored by:
This event is free and open to the public, but your donations help us keep our mission of fostering global engagement alive. Please consider donating what you can today. If you like our mission and would like to play a more active role, you should also consider becoming a member!