NEWS Maryland Today | Game Management

Maryland Today | Game Management

Politics and history have been more of a concern for Rachel Wolfe-Hubbard than 4-4-3 formations and offside lines on previous trips to the Middle East.

The 2015 University of Maryland grad from Laurel and casual participant in some past DC United games has a new appreciation for the exciting game during this year’s World Cup in Qatar. Wolf-Hubbard, now a special agent with the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, has spent the past few weeks serving as a field liaison officer for more than 250 family members and friends of the U.S. men’s national team, handling logistics and embassy communications.,57928603.html“I found myself on the edge of my seat with them,” she said.

Always intrigued by the history of ancient Egypt and the Middle East, Wolf-Hubbard studied Arabic at the University of Maryland and traveled abroad to Morocco. Her experience in the area was so positive that she enlisted in the military to help others gain similar eye-opening opportunities.

“How do we create a safe environment for people to come and visit, regardless of the security situation at the time?” she said.

Wolf-Hubbard joined the Diplomatic Security Service in 2020 after several years as a Middle East and North Africa analyst. She said it operates much like the U.S. Secret Service, but DSS not only protects heads of state, but also secretaries of state, foreign dignitaries visiting the U.S., foreign ministers, former heads of state and members of the British royal family, as well as major events such as the Olympics, the Pan American Games and the World Cup. U.S. citizens, athletes, corporate sponsors, and media during international events.

The World Cup is her first major international event, and Wolfe-Hubbard helps with everything from finding lost passports to missing people. She accompanies her entourage to practices and games, and even takes part in desert excursions, eats dinner in a Bedouin tent, rides camels, and uses binoculars to observe clear night skies.

However, tensions from the policy world could affect action on the field. Americans on the trip have learned about the relevant geopolitical issues and are encouraged to put on their best behavior while cheering on Team USA.

“It’s about keeping the lines of communication open and not panicking,” she said. “In sport, (political controversies) can be mixed in. We’ve done our best to just make sure people are cautious and sensitive about it.”

Wolf-Hubbard is currently assigned to the DSS New York field office and will soon begin a two-year rotation of Secretary of State Security Details. She hopes to one day compete in another international sporting event, but she is looking forward to her next adventure at DSS.

“I was very lucky to have the opportunity to see it,” she said. “The enthusiasm of these families is very contagious.”


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