By Leon G. Galanos
Department of State employees have remained remarkably productive even while observing all measures to keep them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote access and collaboration tools, a robust technology infrastructure, and human ingenuity have enabled the Department’s workforce to continue conducting foreign policy, serving U.S. citizens, and delivering on goals and objectives.
Information management help desks at posts around the world have remained open to serve customers, even if by unique or remote methods. Luigi Lusi, the help desk coordinator for the Information Systems Center at Embassy Rome, has continued to provide customer support during the lockdown almost entirely from home. Using Go Browser, he has monitored Department systems such as myServices and the Help Desk mailbox to manage trouble tickets, respond to customer inquiries, and coordinate assistance when needed. His approach has been well received by post. Because of this, he has been able to present OpenNet and myServices briefings to newcomers and provide guidance for printer setup, in addition to his daily tasks. Lusi has only entered the embassy when absolutely necessary for tasks requiring the dedicated administrative workstation, managing OpenNet accounts, or making changes to the active directory. His teammates have successfully utilized Microsoft Teams to interact directly with customers when providing information technology support.
While helping customers remotely, Lusi recognized that many employees have missed their daily contact with colleagues and have found extended telework challenging. He decided to utilize his love of music and created a video to recognize the efforts of his colleagues in Rome and around the world. In his personal time, with his band Innuendo, Lusi created and shared his version of Queen’s “We Are the Champions” with the Foreign Affairs community. The video was originally created as a challenge by Queen’s lead guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, who asked fans to add their own vocals or other talents.
“I am proud of the way my embassy colleagues have all pulled together to continue serving the American and Italian partnership,” said Lusi. “I was thrilled to use this once in a lifetime opportunity to play with my teenage heroes, and show the Foreign Affairs community what I think of us all—we are the champions!”
Leon G. Galanos is a senior management analyst in the Bureau of Information Resources Management.