Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a bird’s eye view when the biggest news in the world is going down? Robby Thomas (’01) had just such a view recently as he was sitting ringside for the capture of Osama Bin Laden.
Robby is a manager in the U.S. Secretary of State’s 24/7 Operations Center. In this role, Robby’s team works at all hours to make certain that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is fully informed of all current matters. The team writes briefs for her, keeps her connected to foreign leaders, and serves as the emergency coordination and command center for the Department of State and overseas embassies around the world.
Robby’s tenure in the Operations Center has allowed him involvement in some of the most interesting foreign policy challenges of the past year – perhaps in all of history. Since taking the post in 2010, he has been a firsthand witness to recent efforts to restart the Middle East Peace Process; the Obama Administration’s strategy for engagement with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq; the Wiki-Leaks controversy; and recent uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya.
Recently he was on duty when the world’s most sought-after terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, was found and ultimately killed.
Robby had this to say about the night that has everyone talking: “In a year full of history-making moments, it was awe-inspiring to see how events unfolded, when and how the press picked up the story, and how bystanders in Pakistan were unknowingly live-blogging it on Twitter. It will always be the most memorable moment of my year in the Operations Center.”
Robby’s rotation in the Operations center will end this summer. Afterward, he will take a new assignment as special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for consular affairs.