University of Wisconsin-River Falls

News Source

Oct. 17, 2003

Embassy Employee Visits UW-River Falls

An officer of the United States embassy in Belgrade, Serbia-Montenegro, recently visited UW-River Falls as part of program sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

Jeff Pilgreen, a 1991 alumnus of UW-RF, is a financial management and human resources officer for the U.S. embassy in Belgrade. The embassy is part of the U.S. State Department.

Pilgreen's job duties include budget management, supervising accounting, recruiting new employees, and managing issues concerning local labor law, payroll, taxes and social security issues for embassy employees.

He visited UW-RF as part of the State Department's Hometown Diplomats program, which is designed to explain to Americans the State Department's function and why it matters.

Employees volunteer their time on scheduled trips back to the town of their choice to talk to local organizations, elementary or high schools, college alma maters, meet with state and local officials and participate in media interviews.

"Our purpose is to show citizens the importance of foreign and civil services in local communities, showcase careers and internships available through the State Department and recruit new employees," Pilgreen said.

Pilgreen chose River Falls as his destination for the Hometown Diplomats program because it is his alma mater and his parents live in nearby Woodbury, Minn.

He spoke to two political science classes at UW-RF about U.S. foreign relations in Serbia-Montenegro and careers in the Foreign Service. He also staffed booths at two campus student functions: the Semester Abroad Fair for students contemplating studying abroad , and the Career Fair on campus, where students and the public could learn about career options with the Foreign Service and the State Department.

Pilgreen received his bachelor's degree in history and geography. He completed a master's degree in international relations at the University of Southern California.

Prior to joining the State Department in March 2002, he taught special education in southern California and Washington. In September 2002, he was appointed to the embassy in Belgrade, where he resides with his wife, Shannon, and their two children, Adam and Amber.


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