The U.S. Department of State recently visited Shore Regional High School last week in the way of alumni Joseph Tordella, a member of the United States Foreign Services.
Tordella spent the day at the high school talking with junior and senior history students about the purpose of the U.S. State Department in carrying out the president’s international agenda and the possibilities of a career in diplomatic service.
Tordella is a 1997 graduate of Shore Regional and has recently returned from an assignment as part of the team restoring normal operations at the recently reopened U.S. Embassy in Tripoli. He helped with rebuilding the embassy’s press office after recent changes in Libya.
His work is basically to foster deeper relationships with people and civil authorities in the countries where he works. He states that they may have not had any personal contact with Americans and his job is to let them know what our culture, practices, and desires for peace are all about.
Before Libya he had worked at the U.S. Embassies in Saudi, Arabia and Israel and the Philippines. His next assignment is in Afghanistan and then Russia. The State Department trained Tordella in Arabic and he picked up some Farsi, Hebrew and Tagalog throughout his travels and assignments.
Tordella grew up in West Long Branch and earned a graduate degree from the London School of Economics and an undergraduate degree from American University. Prior to going in the Foreign Services, he worked as a business consultant for IBM and Booz Allen Hamilton.