About the Author: Kathe Conrad serves as the Security Overseas Seminar Coordinator at the Foreign Service Institute.
People often misjudge the risks they face overseas. A case in point is a U.S. Government health care employee who attended two days of security briefings about overseas threats. She came up to me afterwards and told me she was worried about taking her family to her central Asian assignment. What she feared most was that either her husband or daughters would be kidnapped and become hostages. Two months after she arrived at post though, she died in a car accident. Tragically, she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.
Getting people to think about risks they might face overseas isn’t difficult. There are always a slew of scary stories about carjacking, hostage taking, and sexual assaults that grab everyone’s attention. We all tend to be more concerned about the kind of high profile threats often seen on the front page of the Washington Post than we are about the more likely injury or death from a car crash. The truth is: driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do either in the U.S. or overseas which is why road safety will be highlighted in the upcoming Private Sector Security Overseas Seminar (PSOS) on September 21 – 22 at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, VA.
The Foreign Service Institute hosts the Private Sector Security Overseas Seminar in conjunction with the Overseas Security Advisory Council twice a year. Information and resources similar to those mandated for Department of State employees on overseas security risks are shared with American businesses, non-governmental agencies, faith-based organizations, and academic institutions. Gregory Wolfe, an Industrial Hygienist with Safety Health & Environmental Management, will talk to the group about driving overseas.
To register for the two-day PSOS, organizations must first be members of the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). There is no fee for becoming a constituent, but tuition is charged for the seminar. Information on becoming an OSAC constituent along with the registration form and information can be found on OSAC's website. For further information about PSOS, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 302-7271.