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F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 2
“Male, Pale & Yale”
The references in Jon Dorschner’s
Speaking Out column (November ) to
the Ivy League “male, pale and Yale”
stereotype of the old Foreign Service
remind me of the following gratifying
experience. In early 1963, several
members of the 54th A-100 orientation
class, including myself, were invited to
visit Assistant Secretary of State for
Congressional Relations Frederick
He reminded us of the State De-
partment’s diversity efforts to go “be-
yond the Ivy”: that is, Yale, Harvard,
Princeton, Columbia and the Univer-
sity of Pennsylvania. We were aware of
those efforts. He then inquired as to
our universities.
We didn’t disappoint the assistant
secretary. One of our colleagues, Ann
Campbell (RIP), had gone to Smith
Louis V. Riggio
Former FSO
Hollywood, Fla.
Which Foreign Service?
I read with dismay Jon P. Dorsch-
ner’s “Why the Foreign Service
Should Be More Like the Army”
Speaking Out column in the Novem-
. Mr. Dorschner claims he
has “never heard esprit de corps men-
tioned in the Foreign Service,” says
“the Foreign Service spends little or
no time explaining to its members why
they are doing what they are doing,”
and contends that “concern for subor-
dinates is not part of the State De-
partment evaluation process, nor is
there much emphasis on families.”
I have to ask: In which Foreign
Service didMr. Dorschner serve? Cer-
tainly not in the U.S. Foreign Service,
and certainly not during the past 25
years! Of course, Foreign Service ca-
reers vary greatly and, perhaps, Mr.
Dorschner had some unfortunate ex-
periences — although he gives no spe-
cific examples to back up his claims.
But as presented here, his column
amounts to little more than a three-
page expression of disgruntlement.
Perhaps the
should consider
establishing a “Crank’s Corner” where
such submissions could be more ap-
propriately published in the future.
Carol Urban
FSO, retired
Rhinebeck, N.Y.
A Welcome Reception
Please allow me to share my heart-
felt gratitude to everyone at AFSA —
but particularly President Susan John-
son, Executive Director Ian Houston,
Retiree Coordinator Bonnie Brown
and Awards and Outreach Coordinator
Perri Green — for organizing the fab-
ulous reception at your wonderful fa-
cility on Nov. 3. It was an event my
family and I will never forget.
I was extremely honored and hum-
bled by AFSA’s celebration of my re-
ceipt of the Congressional GoldMedal.
As we entered AFSA headquarters and
saw my photo “big as life” at the en-
trance, we felt true elation. What a
wonderful welcome! And throughout
the evening, members of the AFSA
Governing Board and staff who at-
tended were so kind to us. As my
granddaughter exclaimed at the time,
“AFSA is a picture of class!”
I was absolutely flabbergasted when
I saw fellow Foreign Service collea-
gues, some of whom I had not seen for
25 years. Those of us in the Foreign
Agricultural Service were a close-knit
group, and our common international
mission helped us maintain contact.
Though retirement caused some of us
to lose contact, this reception brought
several of us together again. Remem-
bering names took a little while, but
soon we were all reminiscing happily.
In our eyes, the fellowship of your
celebration exceeded our experience at
the congressional reception earlier that
day. Please pass on our very best
wishes to all at AFSA.
James Iso
FSO, retired
Roseville, Calif.
Doing What We Could
I read Donald Roberts’ “Human
Rights Report for the Hun Empire,
A.D. 451” in your November issue with
surprise and amusement. In 1984 I