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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
JANUARY 2013
11
TALKING POINTS
The
FSJ
: There’s
an App for That!
We’ve all become accustomed to
seeing people walking around with their
heads buried in the electronic device of
their choice. Distressingly, most seem to
be engaged in something less than pro-
ductive: scanning their Facebook feeds,
playing Angry Birds or downloading the
latest episode of “Te Amazing Race.”
AFSA and
Te Foreign Service Journal
are therefore proud to announce that you
may now fnd something interesting and
educational to add to your Apple devices:
the brand-new app for the
FSJ
! Most
importantly, the app is free for AFSA
members as a beneft of membership.
Developed by Taoti Creative, the frm
which also oversaw the redesign of the
AFSA Web site a couple of years ago, the
FSJ
app is now pending fnal approval
from Apple. At this writing (early Decem-
ber), we expect it to be available to down-
load from the iTunes store starting with
the January issue.
For now, the app is only available for
Apple devices: iPads, iPhones, iPods and
so on. Our recent survey of
FSJ
read-
ers indicated that more than half of our
members use Apple devices; hence our
decision to start there. Another 30 per-
cent use Android and Windows, and we
hope to launch these versions very soon.
To fnd the app, simply visit the iTunes
store and search for “Te Foreign Service
Journal.” Press the “install” button, and
the download will begin. Te app will be
updated automatically each month with
the latest issue, and will also include a
limited archive of recent issues. Te app’s
design has been optimized for tablet-
sized devices, but it works just as well on
smaller devices.
Te tool will include all the features
you have become used to with the digital
version of the magazine: Active links to
advertisers and additional content, beau-
tiful resolution and color, and a signif-
cantly enhanced page-fipping feature.
As our readers become accustomed to
the app version of the magazine, we plan
to add even more online-only content to
enhance the Web-based reading experi-
ence.
We would love to hear what you think
about the app! Please send comments
and suggestions for improvement to
sigfusson@afsa.org.
Ásgeir Sigfússon, Director of
Marketing and Outreach
SITE OF THE MONTH:
Office of the Inspector General Reports
I
n a
Sept. 12 memorandum
posted on the OIG page of the
State Department Web site, Acting Inspector General How-
ard Geisel notes that 25 percent of embassies and consulates
have signifcant weaknesses that could warrant department
intervention.
Those looking for evidence of the shortcomings Geisel
used to arrive at that disturbing estimate will fnd abundant
material in the various post inspection reports that the OIG
recently began publishing there. The inspection teams are
comprised of seasoned Foreign and Civil Service ofcers
who also rely on the OIG Hotline for confdential tips.
Each report highlights shortcomings and success
stories and ofers recommendations for improving agency
operations. One common thread is the fact that embassies
headed by “campaign bundlers” and other large donors
tend to receive low marks for efciency and morale. Nicole
Avant, a music industry executive before being appointed
ambassador to the Bahamas, and political appointee Cyn-
thia Stroum, ambassador to Luxembourg, are two caution-
ary tales in that regard. Both resigned shortly before the
OIG reports were posted.
Such problems can also arise at missions headed by
more qualifed leaders, of course. In his
Foreign Policy
magazine blog,
The Cable
,
Josh Rogin cites a wide variety
of critiques found in recent OIG post inspections, ranging
from mistreatment of foreign workers in Arab-world embas-
sies to a sweeping condemnation of the management
style of retired General Scott Gration, who served as U.S.
ambassador to Kenya. Gration announced his resignation
soon after viewing the OIG report, though he challenged its
claims as “categorically false” and asserts the inspection
system is fawed.
Although coverage of the reports has focused on the
negative, OIG teams gave glowing reviews to the embassy
stafs in Bangkok and Brunei.
Emily A. Hawley, Editorial Intern