With the diplomat-in-residence program, the International Affairs Center provides the College with a direct link to the U.S. State Department as well as other government agencies with an international focus. The diplomat-in-residence also serves as a resource to faculty and students, makes classroom presentations, serves as speaker at international events, and counsels students who plan to take the Foreign Service Examination. The diplomat is also available to talk with students interested in careers with the U.S. Department of State.
Isiah Parnell, a career Foreign Service Officer, is a member of the Senior Foreign Service and holds the rank of Minister Counselor. He currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Missions at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
Parnell joined the Department of State in 1984 and has served in eight overseas posts in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and Africa. From 2006-2009, he was the Minister Counselor of Management affairs in Mexico City. Before assuming his position in Kenya, he was the Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy, Kingston from 2009 through 2010, and then served as the Deputy Chief of Mission from 2010 through 2012.
Parnell was born in High Springs, Florida. He earned his B.A. ad M.A. degrees from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, in Government and Economics; a M.A. degree in Urban Planning/Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia; and has completed the coursework for a Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver.
Parnell served in the U.S. Army from 1981-1984. He is married to Tamice Gordon Parnell of Colorado and they have four daughters. An article in The Gleaner newspaper details Parnell's life of service.