April 22, 2010
10-077

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

Diplomat and VSU Alumnus to Visit Campus Friday

VALDOSTA -- VSU alumnus Navarro Moore, was recently sworn into the U.S. Foreign Service as consular officer for the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador. The 24-year-old Valdosta native is taking a break from intensive Spanish language training to visit his alma mater Friday, April 23, to share the personal and professional passions that have guided him.

The former diplomat for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. will address members of the Model United Nations team at 10 a.m. in the Center for International Programs, 204 Georgia Ave. He will then speak with political science majors from 11 a.m. to noon in 305 West Hall. A question and answer period will follow both speaking sessions, which are free and open to the public.

“VSU Professors like Dr. Michael Baun and Dr. David Winder noticed I had something that could possibly lead me far, and they pushed me to do more and spread my wings. I am infinitely grateful for their foresight and wisdom, and I keep in touch with them to this day,” said Moore, who graduated with a Bachelor of Political Science in 2006. “However, the biggest inspiration for me has been the thought that I may be the difference in someone’s life. The thought that there are more children just like me who grew up in similar or worse circumstances pushes me to want to succeed as much as I can to show them that it can be done.”

Dr. Ivan Nikolov, director of the Center for International Programs, said Moore is an inspiration to students eager to work in foreign relations fields. As a diplomat, Moore urged then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other officials to expand their recruitment efforts in South Georgia. Nikolov credits the passionate public servant with securing four paid summer internships for VSU undergraduates each year.

“Navarro is evidence that we at Valdosta State can grow the future diplomats of America; and our students need to meet him and hear how his persistence and hard work helped him achieve so that they, too, can believe in themselves and reach for their goals,” Nikolov said. “We’ve already seen the results of Navarro leading the path. We’ve had several students take internships in D.C., and a few are now working in the nation’s capital. Navarro has a great message, and we are eager for him to share his good will and motivations on his career path.”

Moore said his involvement with VSU’s continued participation in the internship program has been one of his most rewarding endeavors. His drive to achieve professionally, Moore said, has never overshadowed his drive to help others achieve and realize their potential.

“My favorite memory of VSU was being able to give back to the university. I was elated to learn that students from VSU would have this opportunity. I look forward to more students from VSU being able to take advantage of it. It makes it even more humbling for me that I was able to play a role in our university receiving this honor.”

After his 2009 graduation from Florida State University with a Master of International Relations, Moore began working as a diplomat, traveling the world on two- to three-year assignments to gain experience at various embassies. He served as a Thomas R. Pickering Fellow in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Fiji among other regions. Moore gained experience in governmental affairs working in the U.S. House of Representatives for Congressman Jack Kingston and in the Federal Election Commission as a Campaign Finance Analyst. He interned as a program researcher at the Claude Pepper Center for Intercultural Dialogue in Tallahassee, Fla.

In 2004, Moore began as a mentor with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters Program of South Georgia. When he moved to Washington, D.C., after graduation from VSU, his official capacity with the organization ended, but he has continued his mentoring role with his little brother. He has returned to the halls of Valdosta High School to speak about making good life choices and career exploration, and served as the foreign affairs instructor for Tallahassee’s Distinguished Young Gentleman Program -- a two-week enrichment program to develop the leadership potential of young males from historically disadvantaged communities.

The avid sportsman, who married his high school sweetheart, Shannon, said his main goal in life is to expose his children -- Davion, 6, and Mariah, 5 -- to the intrigue of other cultures and wonders of the world. More importantly, though, he wants to instill in them the power of believing in others -- a priceless outlook.

Read more about Moore’s journey in the spring VSU Alumni Voice at http://www.valdosta.edu/voice/2010/04/12/five-dollars-of-hope/ .