The Foreign Service Journal

 


The Foreign Service Journal covers foreign affairs from an insider's perspective, providing thought-provoking articles on international issues, the practice of diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service. Including the AFSA News section, The Journal is published monthly (January-February and July-August issues combined) by the American Foreign Service Association.

The October Foreign Service Journal focuses on our Foreign Service Specialists, who today make up almost half of the Foreign Service at the Department of State. Foreign Service Specialists are responsible for all the work of the Foreign Service outside the work of a traditional diplomat, from diplomatic security agents and IT experts to librarians and medical officers. Their ever-expanding duties have rarely been more important to the success of American foreign policy abroad. We examine specialists through three separate articles.

Also in this issue, in Learning from Women’s Successes in Afghanistan, Sandya Das draws on women’s experiences in Afghanistan to discuss how sensitivity and technical skills are needed in insecure environments. Christopher Teal’s Flying Monkeys in the Embassy reflects humorously on the infiltration of Embassy Colombo’s fortified walls by a mischievous monkey. Diplomatic Security agent Tony Hornik-Tran reflects on his experience as a refugee and a diplomat and in this month’s FS Know-How column looks at the thorny issue of child custody in Foreign Service divorces.

USAID Vice President Sharon Wayne, in her bi-monthly column, wonders about the human cost of longer tours in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder. Elsewhere, AFSA President Bob Silverman shares two secrets of the Foreign Service.

We always welcome short, focused letters about FSJ content; please send them to journal@afsa.org.

Featured Content

FOCUS: FOREIGN SERVICE SPECIALISTS

The New Specialists

Here is a look at the wide world of Foreign Service Specialists. We explore who they are, the many critical things they do, and how their work has evolved with our changing times.
BY FRANCESCA KELLY


Specialists Reflect on Their Work

A compilation.


FEATURES

Learning from Women’s Successes in Afghanistan

Sensitivity and technical know-how are at a premium when working in these fragile and insecure environments.
BY SANDYA DAS


Flying Monkeys in the Embassy

For 24 hours, the most heavily fortified building in Colombo was compromised by a monkey.
BY CHRISTOPHER TEAL


FS KNOW-HOW

Child Custody Issues in Foreign Service Divorces

Here is a primer on the custody issues involved in Foreign Service divorces and how to approach them.
BY SUSAN KEOGH, ANN LA PORTA AND DIANE HOLT


COLUMNS

President’s Views

Two Secrets of the Foreign Service
BY ROBERT J. SILVERMAN


Speaking Out

What Specialists Want You to Know
COMPILED BY FRANCESCA KELLY


Reflections

Refugee to Diplomat: A Journey
BY TONY HORNIK-TRAN


USAID VP Voice

The Cost of Longer CPC Tours
BY SHARON WAYNE