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10

MARCH 2015

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

Consider

Diplomacy: Theory and Practice

,

now about to emerge in a fifth edition,

that is the gold standard in this field.

China’s method of assigning scholars

to major embassies, to work as political

section policy analysts, is one simple

device that is worthy of emulation, to

permit needed connections between the

two streams.

Second, we of the non-Western world

need to do more to offer our experi-

ences, to plug the lamentable domina-

tion by the West of diplomacy studies.

Several good initiatives by developing

country foreign ministries need wider

replication.

In 2009, Kenya’s Foreign Service

Institute organized a two-day con-

ference in Nairobi on the country’s

pioneering experiences in foreign affairs

immediately after independence. It is

described in

Kenya’s Early Diplomacy:

1963-1993

(MFA Nairobi, 2009). The

Singapore Foreign Ministry has captured

its own history in two volumes:

The

Little Red Dot: Reflections by Singapore’s

Diplomats

(2005 and 2008), recounting a

series of definitive events.

Two Indian-edited books have used

a similar method:

Economic Diplo-

macy: India’s Experience

(2011) and

The

Ambassador’s Club: The Indian Diplo-

mat at Large

(2012). Producing oral his-

tory records is equally useful (underway

in India). Such collections serve training

and public diplomacy objectives, inspir-

ing new generations of diplomats.

Third, given that typically more than

half of the executive and policy staff

of foreign ministries is posted abroad,

e-learning, especially of the intensive

faculty-led variety (as distinct frommas-

sive open online courses, or MOOCs),

is especially appropriate as a learning

aid in today’s environment of continu-

ous education. While the World Bank,

UNITAR and others offer good models,

the experience of the nonprofit Diplo-

Foundation

(www.diplomacy.edu

) is

especially relevant for working diplomats.

(Disclaimer: I have served on DiploFoun-

dation’s teaching faculty for 15 years.)

Kishan S. Rana

Indian FSO and Ambassador, retired

New Delhi

Award Winners and

Diversity

A letter in the December Journal called attention to the fact that the Sep- tember issue featured the four winners

of the AFSA dissent awards on the cover.

Since all four were white males, the

author wrote that this “exhibited very

little demographic diversity.”

It is generally recog-

nized that the Awards

Committee (on which I

serve) must rely entirely on

the nominations it receives

to select dissent winners.

That is all there is to work

with, and AFSA expends

considerable effort to

advertise this fact and solicit

submissions.

Vastly more male

than female nominations are usually

received, and there were none of the lat-

ter in 2014. There have been female win-

ners; but if none have been nominated,

it is certainly illogical to accuse AFSA of

demographic discrimination.

Edward Peck

Ambassador, retired

Chevy Chase, Md.

Lip Service to Diversity?

I read Ms. Rachel Schneller’s letter

to the editor in the December

FSJ

with

some confusion. As a current member

of the AFSA Awards Committee and a

previous chair of the FSJ Editorial Board,

I was struck by her complaint that both

institutions were essentially “paying lip

service to diversity without making any

concrete difference.”

Could that be true? I searched

my memory and my conscience

and decided no, the complaint was

unfounded, because she has confused

roles and missions. Diversity, by which

I presume she means demographic in

the broadest sense, is the responsibil-

ity of the recruiting organs of the State

Department and the Foreign Service.

They are responsible for a serious, hon-

est and effective effort to recruit into the

Foreign Service a meaningful represen-

tation of Americans.

The job of the Awards Committee is

to reward exemplary perfor-

mance, period. Surely Ms.

Schneller does not wish us

to institute a quota system

for awards? The same for the

FSJ

, which is responsible for

publishing a magazine fea-

turing items of interest to our

readership; with authorship

determined by subject and

not by ethnic, racial, reli-

gious or other credentials.

Ms. Schneller notes herself that the

Jour-

nal

issue that spurred her letter included

a serious article about diversity.

The “role and mission” of the Awards

Committee and the

FSJ

are to comment

on and celebrate our profession and our

life. This means to celebrate diversity

as one element of that totality, but only

one, and only when appropriate. To do

otherwise is not to obtain meaningful

diversity, but to enshrine separatism

and division.

Edward Marks

Ambassador, retired

Washington, D.C.