The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 41 $500 million from the U.S. government. The Lincoln was replaced after a month by the Navy’s hospital ship USS Mercy , staffed with Project Hope volunteers—an idea of Deputy Secretary of Defense (and former ambassador to Indonesia) Paul Wolfowitz. Indonesian public opinion quickly shifted. The people knew that Americans were with them from the first, not to score points, but to help fellow human beings in desperate straits. They expressed their appreciation in many ways, including in public opinion polls that consistently showed that Indone- sians held the United States in higher esteem than did any other Muslim-majority country. B. Lynn Pascoe served as U.S. ambassador to Indonesia from October 2004 to February 2007. During almost four decades in the Foreign Service, he also served as ambassador to Malaysia and worked in var- ious positions dealing with China and the former Soviet Union. Amb. Pascoe retired to become United Nations undersecretary-general for political affairs, a position he held for more than five years. Strong Institutions, Not Strongmen Africa, 2013 • Jason H. Green Rarely in the life of a Foreign Service public affairs officer (PAO) will colleagues from across one region have the opportunity to collaborate with each other, and with Washington interagency officials, to advance a specific policy objective. With guidance from leadership in the State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs and the White House, Africa-based PAOs had such an opportunity in 2013 as they faced the challenge of success- fully facilitating the development of judicial institutions on that continent. Strengthening democratic institutions is a key State Depart- ment policy pillar across sub-Saharan Africa. However, the U.S. government has traditionally given less attention to the judiciary than to the executive and legislative branches, even though courts make or change law as much or more than the other two branches of government. High courts across the African continent suffer from undue executive influence, lack of expertise in thematic areas of law, and massive case backlogs resulting from poor case and court management. In 2013, the Bureau of African Affairs, the Office of Public Diplomacy and Pub- lic Affairs and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs worked with 20 embassies to bring two groups of 10 African chief justices from reformist, democratic countries (both Anglophone and Francophone) to the United States on International Visitor Leadership Programs. The goal was to expose them to best prac- tices in the U.S. judicial system and to have themmeet with U.S. Supreme Court justices and other judicial leaders. President Barack Obama met with these jurists in the first-ever presidential judicial roundtable with chief justices in Africa when he traveled to Dakar, Senegal, in 2013. At the roundtable, President Obama emphasized that “Africa does not need strongmen; it needs strong institutions.” Washing- ton made it clear that the rule of law and strong, independent judiciaries are both essential to uphold human rights and to facilitate greater trade and investment with fair and predictable legal recourse. The judiciary as an institution, as well as indi- vidual judges deciding particular cases, must be able to apply the law without undue influence by the executive or legislative branches of government. Following the roundtable, missions across Africa were eager to identify public diplomacy programming aimed at assisting the judges. With assistance from the Bureau of International Information Programs, 10 posts held weekly digital programs for two months with U.S. judicial experts and African judicial leaders on court management, court technology, mediation, incorporating and training of law clerks, and various thematic areas of law. The bureau also facilitated visits by U.S. judicial experts to several African courts to address concerns about the effective use of plea bargaining in criminal cases, the implementation of sentencing guidelines and, with support and collaboration from Effective public diplomacy efforts to enhance networking between judiciaries and uniformity of procedures across Africa are now allowing high courts to learn best practices from each other. –Jason Green “ ”