Retired Foreign Service Officer Shares His Expertise with the Immigration Clinic

Mr. Peter Ganser, retired Foreign Service Officer, presents to students in the Immigration Clinic. Fall 2021.

Last week, retired Foreign Service Officer Peter Ganser presented to Immigration Clinic students about consular processing at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Mr. Ganser’s presentation to Clinic students spanned two class sessions. In his first class, Mr. Ganser presented to students about the structure of embassies, the visa application process at consulates, and consular interviews.  

In his second class, Mr. Ganser conducted mock consular interviews via Zoom with each student based on prepared scenarios. The scenarios spanned different kinds of consular interviews that Mr. Ganser encountered in his career. After each mock interview, students had the opportunity to vote on which visas they would approve and deny, with an explanation from Mr. Ganser about a final decision. 

During Mr. Ganser’s second class, students had the opportunity to vote if they would issue a visa or deny a visa in various scenarios.

“Being able to hear from Mr. Ganser about how immigration law works within our US Consulates was an illuminating experience,” said Chris Collins, a student currently enrolled in the Clinic. “It is always amazing to network with someone who has so much experience and knowledge about the FSO career path!”  

“I love giving back,” said Mr. Ganser. “My career has been focused on public service in the coast guard and foreign service. I love the idea of sharing my experiences and mentoring law students. What a terrific way to do so through the William & Mary Law School Immigration Clinic.” 

Mr. Ganser brings nearly two decades of foreign service experience to his presentations in the Immigration Clinic. Mr. Ganser served in a variety of positions with a focus on immigration matters. His overseas postings included Islamabad, Pakistan where, as Deputy and Acting Consul General, his responsibilities included Afghan refugee and Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) processing in addition to managing a section of over 10 officers and 25 local employees. He was also the Consul General at American embassies in Malawi and Zimbabwe where he supervised refugee processing and asylee follow-to-join cases along with non-immigrant and immigrant visa processing. 

“Mr. Ganser is such a valued member of our Clinic community,” said Professor Stacy Kern-Scheerer, Director of the Immigration Clinic. “With incredibly deep expertise in the Foreign Service and Consular Affairs, we are extremely fortunate that he shares his time and knowledge so generously with Clinic students.  The Clinic is better at what we do because of Mr. Ganser’s energy and his unflagging dedication to inspiring and equipping the next generation of globally-minded lawyers.”