- Tim Brown will soon leave his job at Oneida County's UW-Extension.
He doesn't know where he'll be going, but it will be to one of more than 270 embassies and consulates worldwide.
"It's always been a dream," Brown said.
His dream has been to live and work abroad. That dream will be realized in just a matter of weeks.
"I'll be living and working abroad, staffing U.S. embassies, out there promoting U.S. foreign policy, and helping foreign publics understand America and American culture," Brown said.
The U.S. Department of State selected Brown to be a Foreign Service Officer. It's a position many try years to get and don't.
"I know it's actually 20,000 people [take the test] a year but only a few hundred actually get the job, and some people try for years and never make it," said Tim's wife, Kim.
She supported her husband as he took tests, wrote essays, and went through a strenuous interview process for the past two years.
"I thought it might be a joke at first. I got the email offering me the position and I called Kim, and she came running down the hall," Tim Brown said.
"I was in shock and I still am in shock," Kim added.
Tim most looks forward to "the adventure of living abroad, the exhilaration of interacting with other cultures, and really connecting with people who are so different from yourself."
That's something he has always loved. He spent part of his childhood in Pakistan where his father was a pastor.
"I grew up visiting embassies. All my friend's parents worked for embassies so I've kind of known about the job for a long time," Tim Brown explained.
The September 11th terrorist attacks renewed his desire to serve the U.S. abroad.
"I remember visiting Washington, DC shortly after 9/11 and seeing the big hole in the Pentagon and sort of feeling a desire to serve because I knew that if you could build relationships across cultures and between people who are so different from each other, then you could prevent things like that from happening," he said. "And I knew how many men and women there were who served fulltime in the armed forces, in the civilian services as foreign service officers who do great work to keep peace and that was something that really interested me."
After college, Brown served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. That's where he met Kim, who was also in the Peace Corps. They moved to the Northwoods from Milwaukee two years ago. Tim has been community development agent for Oneida County's UW-Extension.
"What I've loved most about this job has been working with all of the wonderful leaders and organizations who want good things for this county and seeing all of the energy that there is and being a part of some really cutting edge solutions to some interesting problems," he said.
Kim worked for the School District of Rhinelander and more recently UW-Extension as Wisconsin Nutrition Education Program Coordinator for Oneida and Langlade counties.
"For me, it's definitely been the people. It's being able to get out and about and meet different community partners and just also, I just love my coworkers," she said.
The Browns are sad to be leaving the Northwoods, but they're looking forward to a new adventure.
"Getting on that plane and knowing that I'm going off somewhere to serve my country - it's just an exciting feeling and I'm excited to get started," Tim said.
Kim hopes to get a job at an embassy, teach, or do volunteer work once she and Tim know where they'll be assigned. The Browns will likely move every two to three years with this career.
|Story By: Lauren Stephenson