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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
59
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cally buying into the latest priority of a
new administration if I did not believe
in it. I may even have delayed a couple
of promotions by blurting out my
thoughts on a proposed reorganization
or expressing my concern over certain
management issues. But I have been
trying hard to get better at biting my
tongue and learning how to couch my
opinion in ways acceptable within a hi-
erarchical bureaucracy.
My colleagues in uniformpraisedme
for being willing to challenge the chain
of command at AFRICOM. But it was
easy, in this particular case, because I was
working on behalf of women in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, who
had no voice over decisions that would
affect them. Receiving the RivkinAward
meant a lot tome, but not because I had
dissented. Rather, it was an affirmation
that I had learned how to effectively
present an alternative point of view and
approach a very senior government of-
ficial (a four-star general) and have it ac-
cepted.
Though AFSA is always telling peo-
ple that winning a dissent award is not
detrimental to your career, I have State
colleagues, in particular, who continue
to express concerns about speaking out.
In my case, however, within six months
of winning the award, I was selected to
be themission director for the DRC, one
of USAID’s most visible posts in Africa,
and was promoted into the Senior For-
eign Service within a year.
I suspect the visibility that came with
the RivkinAward reassured some of my
colleagues that, while I continue to be
willing to speak truth to power, I could
now be counted on to come up with a
viable alternative and use the kind of
language that merits a diplomatic pass-
port.
Diana Putman is currently serving as USAID
Mission Director in the Democratic Republic of
the Congo.
Retirement: Carolina Friends
of the Foreign Service
BY HANSON R. MALPASS
D
uring his 27 years with the For-
eign Service, EdWilliams, found-
er of the Carolina Friends of the
Foreign Service, always planned to retire
to Chapel Hill, the site of the University
of North Carolina, fromwhich he grad-
uated in 1950.
Enough retired Foreign Service
hands hadmigrated to the area for Ed to
think of forming a luncheon group. In
early 1984, Ed started seeking out peo-
ple from the retired foreign affairs and
military communities to start a social
group. His first luncheon, on May 21,
1984, was attended by nine people, the
founding members of the group: Henry
Mattox, RoyMelbourne, Dorothy Eard-
ley, John Lund, Paul Morris, Harrison
Lewis, Gilbert Chase, Shepard Jones
and Ed.
At the initial meeting, the group
agreed to meet every two or three
months and invite a speaker for the oc-
casion. Dorothy Eardley volunteered to
assist Ed at the gatherings and to pass out
name tags and collect money for meals.
By the next meeting, onNov. 2, 1984,
the word had gotten out and new peo-
ple joined the group, including Bill Dale
and Curt Jones. Ed arranged for Pro-
fessor Enrique Baloyra from the politi-
cal science department of UNC Chapel
Hill to speak to the group. For the next
20 years, Ed continued to line up speak-
ers and manage the myriad details for
the group.
In 1996, the luncheon group brought
together the co-founders of
American
Diplomacy
, an electronic journal of com-
mentary and analysis on international is-
sues that is published in cooperation
with UNC’s College of Arts and Science
(www.unc.edu/depts/diplomat/). T
he
online publication describes its founders
as a group of retiredAmerican diplomats
residing in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel
Hill triangle area of North Carolina.
In 2004, when the luncheon group
had grown to a size that Ed felt was a lit-
tle toomuch for him to handle, at his re-
quest a steering committee was formed
to plan and manage the group’s events.
Today, the membership has
evolved into an educational and
professional group with a new
name, Carolina Friends of the
Foreign Service; a 10-member
steering committee; and a mem-
bership of 131. CFFS welcomes
not only Foreign Service andmil-
itary retirees, but anyone who has
worked or served abroad, is inter-
ested in foreign affairs, or is think-
ing about a career in a foreign
affairs agency.
The most recent luncheon was held
on Oct. 21. FSO Bill Lucas spoke to the
group about his recent assignment in
Afghanistan, where he worked with
American, international and Afghan
partners to establish the rule of law.
Members attended from all around the
state, in some cases frommore than 200
miles away.
Hanson R. Malpass, a retired FSO, is chairman
of the CFFS Steering Committee.
(L to R) Bill Lucas, Diplomat-in-Residence at UNC
Chapel Hill and Duke, with Ed Williams, CFFS
founder.
Dissent • Continued from page 47
I had learned how to effectively
present an alternative point
of view and have it accepted.
(L to R) CFFS members Daniel LeBold, Susin Seow, George
Cass and Ambassador Brenda Schoonover.