THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
NOTES TO THE NEW ADMINISTRATION
Notes to the
Following the U.S. presidential election and
by way of welcoming the new administration,
The Foreign Service Journal
invited Foreign Ser-
vice members to share their suggestions for how
diplomacy and development practitioners can
best serve and advance America’s foreign policy
interests during the coming months and years.
In a Nov. 10 AFSAnet, we asked for concise
answers to this question: “What is the one thing
you want the new administration to know about
the role—or potential role—of the Foreign Ser-
Here are the suggestions from the U.S. Foreign
Service for what the Trump team should know
The Foreign Service is your presence overseas. We implement
your foreign policy. We sell your foreign priorities. We build and
maintain foreign networks to help achieve your objectives and
represent you to nearly 200 countries.
So please integrate us into the decision-making ranks.
Reduce the number of politically appointed ambassadors—we
are thousands of trained, seasoned, top-notch diplomats ready
to carry out your vision. We speak every official language in the
world. We have worked in every country with which the United
States has diplomatic ties. Reduce the number of special envoys,
special advisers and special representatives—and instead
recognize that we are capable, trustworthy and good stewards of
We would not expect nearly 40 percent of military leadership
to be politically appointed; and neither should nearly 40 percent
of America’s diplomatic leadership be politically appointed.
In short, let us be the powerful force for peace that we were
designed to be, and make great use of us. Don’t marginalize us.
We are, after all,
Please End Political Corruption
You have a golden opportunity to fulfill your campaign pledge
to put a stop to corruption, cronyism and “business as usual” in
Washington: End the disgraceful practice of rewarding per-
sonal friends and donors with ambassadorships. Democratic
and Republican presidents have been equally guilty in recent