Diplomat-in-residence joining WKU

Trey Crumbie

Starting February 1, WKU will have access to its first diplomat-in-residence, Michael McClellan.

Craig Cobane, chief international officer, said McClellan will be working with faculty to provide international content, such as giving lectures on the affairs of South Sudan. 

McClellan will also extend his services to students, assisting them in securing internships or careers in Washington D.C. McClellan will also be doing service projects within Bowling Green, such as delivering speeches to high and middle schools.

“The sky is the limit on how he can be used,” Cobane said.  

McClellan’s position was created as a result of a partnership between the Potter College of Arts and Letters and the Office of International Programs.

He has worked with the State Department and the U.S. Information Agency since 1984. He has held posts in various countries around the world, such as Iraq, Ethiopia, Ireland and Germany. 

He also earned a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Louisville, a master’s degree in Photojournalism and International Relations from Syracuse University and is currently completing a doctorate in Communications and Government/Press Relations at Indiana University. 

“He brings in a wealth of experience,” Cobane said.

Cobane said McClellan, who was born and raised in Bowling Green, contacted President Ransdell last summer and wanted to use his expertise to give back to the community he grew up in. 

McClellan’s current contract requires him to only work for the spring semester, but there is the possibility he could return for the fall with added responsibility.

“If all works out, we’d like to bring him back next year,” Cobane said. “And next year we’d like him to teach some classes.” 

Cobane said he and David Lee, Dean of Potter College, would allow him to get acclimated to WKU and speak with various departments to determine where he would be a good fit at before pursuing that action further. 

Cobane said McClellan will allow students to learn more about international affairs, especially for those who cannot study abroad. 

“Having resources like Michael and a diplomat-in-residence creates international opportunities for students who maybe won’t have an opportunity to study abroad during their four years at WKU,” Cobane said.