Julie A. Friend

Director of Global Safety and Security, Northwestern University

2007 | Evanston, IL

An MSU Law degree has helped Julie Anne Friend, ’07, create a whole new career path – for herself and others.

An MSU Law degree has helped Julie Anne Friend, ’07, create a whole new career path – for herself and others.

Friend was appointed as a technical advisor to the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) in 2008 while working with the MSU Office of Study Abroad, one of only three such positions in the country. Her scholarship and advocacy on emergency planning and response have contributed to the development of professional standards in the field. The MSU U.S. State Department Travel Warning policy, one of the first of its kind, is considered a national benchmark. In 2013, she published the nation’s first written guidance on responding to a student death abroad.

Friend now represents Northwestern University on the council, which provides information, resources, and analysis pertaining to international health, legal, safety, and security issues concerning non-governmental organizations (NGOs), faith-based groups, and university students, faculty members, and researchers abroad.

She was honored in November 2014 by OSAC, a division of The Bureau of Diplomatic Security in the U.S. Department of State, with its Technical Advisor Achievement Award in recognition of her national leadership in addressing security and safety issues affecting academics traveling in high-risk areas around the globe.

Friend said the award permits a heightened understanding of the vast complement of international travel and sets the stage for better coordination between non-governmental organizations, faith-based groups, and academia to keep travelers safe and mitigate risk.

"The traditional assumption that university-sponsored travel is not high-risk still exists, but the truth is that most colleges and universities offer a wide variety of educational opportunities ranging from study abroad programs to service learning projects, research and (medical or veterinary students) providing health care,” she said. "Sometimes these activities occur in places of heightened risk."