Michele Rigby Assad, a 1995 graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University who now serves as a foreign service officer for the U.S. Department of State, will receive the Distinguished Alumna Award during PBA’s Homecoming celebration later this month.
Assad, of Vienna, Va., has spent the past decade serving her country in such places as Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Her focus includes foreign relations with Arab nations and counterterrorism issues.
In one of the locations where she recently served, Assad’s work directly contributed to saving the lives of U.S. soldiers on assignment in a war zone.
Assad majored in political science and was part of the Frederick M. Supper Honors Program at PBA. She also took part in mission trips to Egypt, Russia and the Ukraine.
After graduation, she and her husband, Joseph Assad ’94, settled in Washington, D.C. where Joseph helped establish the Middle East Studies Program for the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities and Michele went to work in the Government Relations Department for the international Christian nongovernmental organization World Vision. Joseph Assad now serves as a U.S. diplomat with the State Department.
In 2005, the couple received PBA’s Young Alumni Award.
Assad holds a master’s degree in Arab studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. She will be recognized during a Homecoming dinner and alumni awards presentation at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, in the Weyenberg Center in the Lassiter Student Center.