International professionals visit with high school students

The average American will visit less than 15 places outside of their home state during their lifetime. However, that is not the case for a panel of international professionals who visited Hillsboro High School's Academy of International Baccalaureate on Wednesday morning. Ronald Schlincher, former American Ambassador to Cyprus, Mary Pat Silveira, former United Nations consultant, Charles Richard (Dick) Bowers, former U.S. Diplomat in Panama, Poland, Singapore, Germany, and Bolivia, and Patrick Ryan, former Intelligence Officer with the United States Navy, spent the morning visiting with high school students at Hillsboro about their careers and experiences. Student were then offered the unique opportunity to ask questions and hear personal advice and anecdotes.


IMG_1915Afterwards, students were able to have one-on-one conversations with the panel members and learn even more about the process of being an international professional. Thank you Ronald, Mary Pat, Dick, and Patrick for visiting with our students today and sharing your stories!



Ronald Schlicher served as a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State from 1982-2011.  Among the assignments he held were Ambassador to Cyprus (2005-2008), Consul-General and Chief of Mission in Jerusalem (2000-2002), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs (2009-2011), Principal Deputy Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism (2008-2009), and State Department Coordinator for Iraq (2004-2005), and Charge d'Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission in Beirut (1994-1997).  He is fluent in French and several dialects of Arabic, and also speaks conversational Greek.

 On his retirement, Schlicher, who was raised in Chattanooga, relocated to the Nashville area.  He is currently a freelance consultant on international and security affairs, and also serves as Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the Near East and South Asia of the National
 Defense University in Washington, D.C. 

 Schlicher received his B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he served as Executive Editor of the Law Review and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  He currently resides in Nashville.
Mary Pat Silveira retired from the United Nations in 2006 and is currently working as a consultant on issues related to sustainable development, public policy, and international organizations.
Silveira joined the United Nations in 1977.  During her 30-year career, she traveled on behalf of the UN to more than 100 countries and lived for several years in New York, Maputo (Mozambique), Luanda (Angola), Mitrovica (Kosovo) and Geneva (Switzerland), working on issues ranging from science and technology for development to sustainable development and from policy-making to emergency relief and peacekeeping.
A native of Nashville, she returned to Tennessee, where she teaches courses related to foreign policy at Vanderbilt University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Center.  In April 2012 she completed two two-year terms as President of the Nashville Cordell Hull Chapter of the United Nations Association-USA.

Silveira earned her Ph.D. in international relations and political science at the University of California, Berkeley and has published a number of books and articles on international relations, public policy, and sustainable development.  She currently serves on the Boards of the local chapter of the United Nations Association, the Tennessee World Affairs Council, and Vanderbilt’s Osher Lifelong Learning  Center, and is a member of the US Global Leadership Coalition’s Tennessee Advisory Committee, the Steering Committee for “Our Muslim Neighbor,”  and the Organizing Committee of the Family of Abraham.

Ambassador Charles Richard (Dick) Bowers is a retired career Foreign Service Officer who served in U.S. diplomatic and consular positions at the American Embassies in Panama, Poland, Singapore, Germany and Bolivia. During tours of duty in Washington D.C. at the State Department, he traveled to over 75 counties on negotiating, fact-finding and trouble-shooting missions. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1995 after serving as the American Ambassador to Bolivia.
He studied political science, economics and international relations at the University of California, Berkeley, earning his BA, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1966 and his MA degree in 1967. He then immediately entered the U.S. Foreign Service.  From 1961 to 1964 he was on active duty with the U.S. Army and served in West Berlin at the height of the Cold War as a Russian linguist.

After leaving his diplomatic career, Amb. Bowers “thru-hiked” the Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine and then hiked all 900 miles of marked trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  In 2004 he became the first Tennessean to reach the highest point of each of our 50 states (Mt. McKinley took 22 days). He is an avid and active member of Rotary International, and a board member of the TN World Affairs Council and the Nashville chapter of the United Nations Association

Patrick Ryan served 26 years in the United States Navy. He completed ten years of enlisted service reaching the rank of Chief Petty Officer before completing a BA (International Studies) at the University of South Carolina and commissioning at Officer Candidate School. His assignments as a submariner, surface warfare officer and intelligence officer included Bahrain, Italy and Japan as well as travel to about 50 countries, and tours of duty at sea and major headquarters including the Joint Staff in the Pentagon, the Center for Naval Analyses and US Central Command. He retired at the rank of Lieutenant Commander in 1998 to Washington, DC where he worked as a defense consultant and then as Vice President of the National Council on US-Arab Relations.  In 1999 he founded Ryan & Associates, an editorial consulting firm that he moved from Washington to Cookeville in 2001, that focuses on international affairs projects.  He has created a variety of Internet projects for international clients with an emphasis on Middle Eastern affairs, especially Saudi Arabia, and serves as Editor in Chief for several online news services.  In 2007 he founded the Tennessee World Affairs Council, a nonprofit, non-partisan educational charity which aims to bring global awareness education programs and resources to Tennessee communities and schools.  He serves as its volunteer President.  Lieutenant Commander Ryan is active in the community and is a Past President of the Cookeville Breakfast Rotary Club and former Boy Scout Troop Committee Chairman