WEDNESDAY, 11/03/2021 | 8:15PM EDT

Careers in Foreign Service:

A Conversation with former Diplomatic Security Service Agent Steve Silva


Wednesday, November 3rd, 2021 at 8:15pm EDT

Hosted on Zoom - the link will be emailed to you after registration


In this Careers in Foreign Service event, we will speak with Steve Silva, a former member of the Diplomatic Security Service under the Department of State, about his experience in the field and his advice for young professionals interested in careers in the security and intelligence space of international affairs.


DSS agents operate from a global platform in 29 U.S. cities and more than 170 foreign countries and
ensure the United States can safely and securely conduct diplomacy. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security
(DS) is a world leader in the protection of people, property, and information – international
investigations, threat analysis, cyber security, counterterrorism, and security technology. DS protects
the U.S. Secretary of State 24/7 and high-ranking foreign dignitaries and officials who visit the United
States. DS plays a vital role in protecting more than 270 U.S. diplomatic missions and their personnel
overseas, securing critical information systems, conducting personnel security investigations, and
fighting the war on terror.


This virtual event is co-hosted by the Onero Institute and the Delta Phi Epsilon Professional Foreign Service Fraternity at GWU.



Steve Silva has 21 years of government service as a Special Agent with the United States Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). During his career, Steve provided protection to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as well as international diplomats. He served as Senior Regional Security Officer U.S. Consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan and Bagram Airfield Base, Afghanistan. Additionally, Steve was Assistant Regional Security Officer at U.S. Embassy’s Belgrade, Serbia and Algiers, Algeria. Representing DSS locally, Steve was a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Orlando and Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the Miami Field Office. In 2021, he published a memoir titled "Afghans Never Smile: Reflections of a DSS Agent from Both Sides of the Durand Line." Previously, Steve served as an Army Infantry Officer stationed in Germany and received a BA in History from Franklin Pierce University, NH with advanced studies at Bentley College, MA. Steve has been married for 27 years to his wife, Toni, and has 2 sons, Calvin and Cameron.


Laurent Kleinheinz is a fourth-year student at the George Washington University, studying International Affairs with a minor in Arabic. He is from San Francisco and has an interest in counter-insurgency theory and Afghan tribal politics. He has previously moderated four events with the Onero Institute, focusing on Afghanistan under Taliban rule, Afghanistan's prospects for peace,  journalism in Afghanistan, and Oman's unique foreign policy.

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