The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 17 A mbassador (ret.) Peter Romero, working with writer and videog- rapher Laura Bennett, and assisted by web designer Angela Martins, has started a new podcast: “American Dip- lomat: The Stories Behind the News . ” The mission: “To provide informa- tive entertainment to the listening public from our nation’s diplomatic practitioners. The conversations with this elite cadre of career diplomats seek to give the listener a better understanding of the very human dimensions of those serving on the front lines of war, crises and conflict around the world.” Romero explains that they want to “increase understanding by the American people of what it is that their diplomatic practitioners do to advance our national interests.” Each weekly podcast features a 20- to 40-minute conversation with active-duty and retired U.S. diplo- mats, focusing more on personal stories than career highlights. By getting to know the people behind the word “diplomacy,” the hosts hope to create a closer connection between the Ameri- can public and those who serve around the world on their behalf. “We have three primary audi- ences,” says Romero. “The first is the general public, who can be enter- tained and informed by human sto- ries by diplomatic practitioners. The second group would be those who follow the news and who would find our discussion of the news behind the news a useful supplement to what the other reporting presents. Finally, this podcast is for members of the Foreign Service and their families to celebrate what it is we do, and to enjoy listening to the tales of other people in the Service.” As of this writing, five installments of the show are available, featuring retired ambassadors Gina Abercrom- bie-Winstanley, Lino Gutierrez and Tim Carney. Visit www.amdipstories. org/podcast, or get the podcast from iTunes. To participate, go to SITE/PODCAST OF THE MONTH changes, and other significant plans. To date, unfortunately, this has not been the case. “We believe the long-serving diplo- mats of the department could be your best assets in helping formulate mean- ingful reforms for an institution to which they have dedicated their professional lives. We encourage more involvement of these employees—relying on outside consultants is not an appropriate model for reforming a diplomatic institution. “Not only do we have deep concerns about how State is seeking to achieve attrition goals, we think that attrition as a strategy for managing a workforce is problematic because it does not allow management to control for the skills, experience, and workforces that it actu- ally needs. When dealing with national security, the potential costs of such a mismatch can be fatal.” The letter goes into great detail regarding hiring and particular hiring