Last month, the State Department named career DSS agent Carlos F. Matus as PDAS for Diplomatic Security (DS) and director of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). Below is his official bio:
Carlos F. Matus, a career Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) special agent and DSS senior official, was named principal deputy assistant secretary (PDAS) of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and director of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), U.S. Department of State, on September 13, 2021. He previously served as acting DSS director.
As PDAS and DSS director, Matus is responsible for the operations of the most widely represented law enforcement and security organization in the world, with offices in 33 U.S. cities and 275 U.S. diplomatic posts overseas. DSS is the law enforcement and security arm of the U.S. Department of State and is responsible for protecting U.S. diplomacy and the integrity of U.S. travel documents.
Matus, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, joined DSS as a special agent in 1987. Throughout his 34 years of service, Matus has served around the world at U.S. embassies in Honduras, Panama, Afghanistan, Austria, Haiti, Pakistan, Brazil; DSS field offices in Washington, D.C., and Miami; and at DSS headquarters.
Among his most recent career highlights, Matus served as director of protective intelligence investigations, 2016; senior regional security officer, U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan, 2016-17; deputy assistant secretary for the high threat programs directorate, 2017-19; and acting deputy assistant secretary for threat investigations and analysis until he assumed the position of acting DSS director in 2020.
Matus is an individual recipient of multiple State Department meritorious and superior honor awards. The U.S. Marine Corps recognized him twice as Regional Security Officer of the Year for D Company. Most recently, he received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive.
Before joining DSS, Matus graduated from the University of Maryland and the Inter-American Defense College. He holds a Master’s degree in Security and Hemispheric Defense from the University of Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina. More information about Carlos Matus is available at: https://www.state.gov/biographies/carlos-f-matus/
In 2016, we published an submitted letter from a Diplomatic Security employee about the lack of diversity in the top ranks of the bureau leadership (see Dear @JohnKerry: One of Your Foggy Bottom Folks Is Asking — Is This Diversity?). At that time, there were two senior positions held by female officers and one by an African-American at the bureau.
Today, the leadership at Diplomatic Security remains overwhelmingly male and white, with but ONE senior female official occupying the Deputy Assistant Secretary and Assistant Director Training Directorate. There are currently , three African Americans in its leadership positions including the assistant secretary. Given that Diplomatic Security is one of the top five bureaus with the highest number of sexual harassment complaints, you’d think that the bureau would work harder in growing the ranks of senior female officials in its leadership ranks.
It looks like that’s not happening anytime soon. So will Diplomatic Security ever appoint a senior female agent anywhere besides the International Programs Directorate or the Training Directorate? (see Inbox: A belief that there’s no place for a female in Diplomatic Security agent ranks especially at HTPs?). As DSS Director? Or as a Principal Deputy? No?
Well, now, we’d like to know why. Why are female officials hard to find in the bureau’s senior leadership ranks?
DSS Director Carlos Matus paid his respects during a memorial service to honor former Secretary of State George P. Shultz in Palo Alto, California. Director Matus is one of the last – maybe even the last – remaining DSS agents who protected the former Secretary. 1/2 pic.twitter.com/XajzpTuL9M
— statedeptdss (@StateDeptDSS) October 13, 2021
Watch the first Latino DSS Director Carlos Matus talk about his life and his 34-year career in DSS. https://t.co/kL3X2Ff4mL
— statedeptdss (@StateDeptDSS) October 10, 2021
Acting DSS Director Carlos Matus recently visited the regional security office at @USEmbassyKabul. He thanked DSS agents, @USMC Marine Security Guards, and local staff for their continued service. pic.twitter.com/gaqPQogAPk
— statedeptdss (@StateDeptDSS) May 5, 2021
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