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Edward Loo

Edward Loo

Diplomats in Residence (DIRs) are career Foreign Service Officers who are located throughout the United States and responsible for providing guidance and advice to students, professionals and the community about Department careers. DIRs are available to answer questions and share insight with those interested in Foreign and Civil Service careers, internships and fellowships.

Ed Loo arrived in San Francisco as an infant in the arms of his parents on a steamship from Hong Kong. Today, he is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, with the rank of Counselor.

In his career of over 25 years, he has served extensively in Latin America, East Asia, and Europe. One unifying thread in his assignments has been that they have been in countries undergoing significant transformation. As a press attaché in Beijing he arrived in 1989 right after the tragedy of Tiananmen Square, working from the same Embassy compound where the U.S. sheltered dissident astrophysicist Fang Lizhi from Chinese security agents for more than a year. In Manila, he ran a newsroom operation from the Embassy to put the spotlight on U.S. assistance in the aftermath of the devastating Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruptions and to help redefine our bilateral relationship after the closing of the U.S. bases in the Philippines. Returning to Beijing in 1994 as American Center Director, he opened the first foreign government center to encourage visits and contacts by ordinary Chinese citizens, often times against the wishes of local authorities.

As Public Affairs Counselor in Managua, Ed developed the messaging strategy for the U.S. Government´s massive assistance program to help Nicaragua recover from the ravages of Hurricane Mitch. He served as Cultural Attaché in Madrid where, among other achievements, he launched an annual seminar on countering terrorism sponsored by the U.S. and Spanish governments, a topic tragically brought close to home with the Madrid train station bombings of March 2004. In Bogotá, Ed was acting Public Affairs Counselor and then Cultural Attaché at our second largest Embassy with its priorities of working with Colombia to combat narcotics trafficking and terrorism. Before he left Colombia in 2008, he was privileged to witness the dramatic rescue of three American citizens held hostage in the jungle by the FARC for more than five years. Ed has just ended his assignment as Public Affairs Counselor in Budapest, Hungary, a nation that is undergoing profound political changes that the U.S. is watching closely.

It is second nature for Ed, as a public diplomacy officer, to reach out to individuals from diverse communities, especially from disadvantaged and marginalized populations, whether they be activists and dissidents in China, Muslims in Spain, Latin Americans of African descent, or ethnic Roma in Hungary. He is especially proud of his instrumental role in the creation of the Muslim outreach program in Madrid, special Fulbright scholarships for Afro–Colombians to study in the U.S., and a professional development program for Roma university students at the U.S. Embassy in Budapest.

Ed speaks fluent Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese, and has studied Hungarian, French, and Filipino. In addition to the postings mentioned previously, he also served twice in Taiwan and in Washington. He graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with degrees in history and English, and has a master's degree from Columbia University in American History. He is still proud to call San Francisco his home.

Mr. Loo maintains a Facebook page with current information on his activities and other Dept of State information. Access it at:

Careers and Internships Info

Some of the most interesting work in the world is done by U.S. Department of State employees overseas and in Washington, D.C.

Becoming a Foreign Service Officer, Foreign Service Specialist or Civil Service employee for the U.S. Department of State gives you the opportunity to make a difference.

The people of the State Department are at work every day around the world and in Washington, D.C. on matters of vital importance. You could be involved in providing background information needed to develop foreign policy, implementing established policies, assisting American citizens in need, managing budgets and resources that support diplomacy or representing American interests in any of over 170 countries.

The Department of State maintains a comprehensive website on internships and careers at:

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