THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
decades of handing out many of these key
diplomatic positions to individuals with no
foreign affairs experience or qualifications
whatsoever, often auctioning the cushiest
ambassadorial posts off to top campaign
Being an effective ambassador is a
serious, difficult job: ambassadors have
to oversee large, multiagency embassies
that manage complex relationships with
foreign governments. If you are serious
about defending U.S. interests in a danger-
ous world, put all of our country’s ambas-
sadorships back in the hands of our career
diplomats—the Senior Foreign Service officers who have spent
decades acquiring expertise on a wide range of international
issues, mastering foreign languages, immersing themselves in
foreign cultures and developing the skills necessary to negotiate
effectively with foreign officials.
We are the only government in the world that routinely sends
out inexperienced novice appointees as our most senior repre-
sentatives. They have a steep learning curve and must be guided
every step of the way by their staffs, the people of the Foreign
Service who are assigned to their embassies. Allies and enemies
alike rarely take seriously these appointees, who often do care-
less damage to U.S. foreign policy.
It is time for a courageous administration to end this shame-
ful form of political corruption.
We Achieve Quietly
Like those in military service, we and our families make great
sacrifices for the U.S. government because we believe that we
can avoid costly and dangerous conflicts by achieving agree-
ments, keeping up good relations, ultimately striving for peace.
Our efforts and often our achievements are quiet—we never
have and probably never will get the attention or praise the mili-
tary gets. But we’re still just as dedicated.
Kristin M. Kane
U.S. Embassy Brasilia, Brazil
A Bridge to the World
Our security and prosperity depend on the world around us,
and our diplomats are a bridge between the United States and
the world—promoting our foreign policy, developing peaceful
solutions in unstable situations that affect U.S. interests, under-
standing and shaping foreign perceptions of the United States,
and generating the understanding and good will that form the
bedrock of stable, strategic partnerships with all nations.
We Are the Face of America Abroad
The Foreign Service has often been the first face of America the
rest of the world sees—whether it is at a time of crisis through
humanitarian assistance, applying for a visa to visit this incred-
ible country, or forming partnerships with other countries
to achieve larger-than-life objectives such as elimination of
extreme poverty. Every day, members of the Foreign Service
demonstrate abroad what America means: diversity, equality,
democracy, excellence and shared prosperity.
The Foreign Service must be allowed to continue to rep-
resent all of America with integrity and objectivity, which are
core values of leadership. Because the world faces increasingly
complex diplomatic and development challenges, with a wide
range of stakeholders, a diverse cadre of professional diplomats
must continue to serve in many different ways to find common
ground and viable solutions.
We are needed on the ground to connect with diverse people
of host countries and in various institutions to help shape
policies. To effectively achieve the nation’s objectives, the U.S.
Foreign Service must be a model of diversity and mutual respect
for the rest of the global community.
U.S. Embassy Managua, Nicaragua
We Offer Honest
and Clear Reporting
The Foreign Service is America’s experienced voice with an open
tradition of implementing America’s foreign policy objectives
abroad. The men and women who are selected to be Foreign
Service officers are highly competent and loyal to the president