The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 11, 2010

Embassy job a dream come true

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— MIDDLEBURG — Years spent traveling the world, including a two-year stint in the Republic of Moldova, prepared Midd-West High School graduate Micah Savidge to serve as a foreign service officer in Romania.

“I’m a big fan of eastern Europe. I’ve had an interest in foreign countries since I started traveling in college,” the 29-year-old said Monday from his office in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Savidge, the son of District Judge Willis Savidge, of Middleburg, and Bonnie Mack, of Mount Pleasant Mills, will begin a two-year tour as a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania, in late January.

As one of about 6,500 foreign service officers, Savidge didn’t get to choose his destination, but listed it high on his preferred workplaces.

Fluent in Romanian since spending two years between 2003 and 2005 serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Moldova, a former Soviet Republic, he expects to settle in fairly easily when he arrives in Romania to begin his job promoting U.S. policies.

“The people are very warm-hearted and I love the culture,’ he said.

Savidge’s interest in international relations was first piqued by a high school guidance counselor who mentioned that the foreign service exam was the most difficult test he’d ever taken.

“That intrigued me,” he said.

While an economics student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Savidge traveled abroad to Costa Rica and Austria, sparking his interest even further.

He eventually took the foreign service exam, passed and joined the Department of State in August. Now he’s on his way to a career in international relations where he plans to work as an economics officer promoting U.S. industry and trade in areas such as Pakistan.    

Savidge has already spent about four months in the region and would like to return.

“The U.S. sends a lot of money to Pakistan to try and bolster U.S. interests and keep the region stable,” he said. “It’s where a lot of the action is.”

— E-mail comments to mmoore@dailyitem.com