Page 8 - Foreign Service Journal - February 2013

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8
FEBRUARY 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
LETTERS
A Model of Interagency
Cooperation
I was delighted to read Jane Loefer’s
comprehensive and beautifully written
article, “Beyond the Fortress Embassy,” in
your December issue.
Over the years, Ms. Loefer has done
an amazing job of chronicling the his-
tory of the State Department’s build-
ings program. Tis article is yet another
example of her depth
of knowledge of the
subject, and intro-
duces what I hope
will be a new chapter
in diplomatic facili-
ties. Te Bureau of
Overseas Buildings
Operations surely
owes her a debt
of gratitude for
the passion and
depth of research she has
brought to the subject of our nation’s
embassies.
Tat said, I would ofer one clarifca-
tion. In the article, Ms. Loefer incor-
rectly identifes me as an architect.
While I have great respect for architects, I
have never sought professional licensure,
and make no claim to being one.
I feel extremely fortunate to have
had the opportunity to assist the State
Department in fashioning a building pro-
gram tailored to the unique needs of the
agency and its mission. OBO is embark-
ing on a holistic program that elevates
all of the building disciplines—urban
development, planning, landscape archi-
tecture, historic preservation, interior
design, engineering, fnance, construc-
tion, operations, maintenance, art and
sustainability—in addition to architec-
ture, to ensure the best product for the
American taxpayer.
I commend the work on everybody’s
part, and hope that both agencies
believe, as I do, that this collaboration is a
model of interagency cooperation.
Casey Jones
Director, Design Excellence
General Services Administration
Washington, D.C.
An Antidote for Pablum
Congratulations to all who were
involved in the
FSJ
’s recent makeover.
When I received my copy of the
redesigned magazine in October,
the words that came immediately
to mind were “fresh, attractive,
stimulating, improved.” Tree issues
on, those adjectives still apply.
Te new Talking Points column
(formerly Cybernotes) is perfectly
titled for the material included.
And your Local Lens department is
another valuable new feature that
should engage more readers in contrib-
uting to the
Journal
’s content, given the
wealth of photographic talent within our
community.
Te quality of the content has cer-
tainly matched that of the packaging.
Focusing the frst issue in the updated
format on the new generation of Foreign
Service hires was an inspired choice. I
also had a strong dose of déjà vu when
reading the October Speaking Out col-
umn on achieving work-life balance—a
goal that remains as relevant and chal-
lenging as during my decades in
the Foreign Service.
I’ll be interested to see how the
evolution of your new format pro-
gresses, as you continue to move
away from focusing every issue
on a single theme. In my view, the
previous “focus section” approach
worked brilliantly with some subjects
over the years, less so with others. But
if the new formula follows the trend
lines of your other changes, I’m betting it
will be another improvement.
Finally, in addition to the new look,
I’d also like to commend you on your
willingness to publish some controver-
sial, even “politically incorrect” articles
and letters. Admittedly, I do sometimes
fnd myself disagreeing vigorously with
some of your contributors, as I’m sure is
true with some of your other readers. But
bravo! Tere is way too much pablum out
there.
Keep up the great work!
Tibor P. Nagy Jr.
Ambassador, retired
Lubbock, Texas
Some Thoughts on Your
Redesign
Graphic design is an ever-changing
science and art. So after 18 years with the
previous
FSJ
design, a makeover makes a
lot of sense.
Still, I would like to ofer some feed-
back. First, it’s convenient to have e-mail
addresses added to the masthead.
I found the wider palette of colors on
the October cover appealing, but recom-
mend using a diferent color than white
for the background, as in the
AFSA News
section.
Te innovation of a narrow spine (per-
fect binding) makes the magazine more
practical to fnd on the shelf. If one is
searching for the issue
by month, however, the
ocher-colored “Octo-
ber 2012” is much less
easy to spot than the
white “
Te Foreign
Service Journal
.”
Finally, I’m sure
Foreign Service
photographers will
appreciate the new
avenue for sharing