THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNALTake AFSA With You! Change your address online, visit us at www.afsa.org/ address Or Send changes to: AFSAMembership Department 2101 E Street NW Washington, DC 20037 Moving?
brunch with an FS friend serving in an
Africa post. Before coffee was poured, I
learned that at her post electricity goes
out many times a day, her child’s special
needs are getting barely adequate atten-
tion, dust storms infiltrate her home and
lungs, and work duties bleed deep into
the night and all across weekends. She
mentioned these things casually, as if
she were ordering eggs over easy.
The picture could not contrast more
with what Civil Service colleagues
count on: keeping children in excellent
local schools; swapping telework days
to accommodate a plumber; negotiat-
ing comp time for attending anything
outside work hours; and, certainly,
not dealing with dust storms—much
less Ebola or Beijing-style air pollu-
tion. Another challenge, maintaining a
spouse’s career, is also clearly easier if
based in Washington, D.C.
But members of the Foreign Ser-
vice expect and accept difficulties
living abroad—pollution and disease;
weeknight and weekend events (plus
the stress of being duty officer!); poor
schools; weak infrastructure (roads,
electricity, water); maybe a coup, attack
or evacuation. It is the price we pay,
willingly, to live in a country and seek to
understand it deeply—to be good diplo-
mats who build enduring ties.
Civil servants don’t sign up for this
same duty. What they do every day to
support the department, largely here in
Washington, is irreplaceable. We bring
different experience and different exper-
tise to the work of the State Department.
And we sign up for different systems and
Instead of parity, let’s focus on
Young at the
Did Cecile Shea pull a punch in theintroduction to her FSJ interview (“The Usefulness of Cookie-Pushing,” Decem
ber) with Richard Longworth?
Ms. Shea cited undiplomatic state-
ments U.S. Permanent Representative to
the United Nations Andrew Young made
before and in the first six months of his
two-year tenure. (His initial misstate-
ments of policy prompted Mr. Longworth
to write the “Primer for Diplomats.”)
However, Ms. Shea failed to mention
why Young was fired by President Jimmy
Carter: He had met with the Palestine
Liberation Organization representative to
the United Nations, despite the adminis-
tration’s having assured the Israelis that
U.S. diplomats would not do so as long as
the PLO refused to recognize Israel.
It was interesting to see the October
AFSA News featuring Hispanics at State
and in Congress. I remember John Jova,
who must have entered the career Foreign
Service about the same time as my late
husband, Leon B. Poullada.
My husband was the first Hispanic
career FSO to be named a U.S. ambas-
sador. In fact, he was the first resident
American ambassador to the Republic of
Togo from 1961 to 1964, when he retired.
Born in NewMexico in 1913, Leon
Poullada grew up in Los Angeles. He
joined the Foreign Service in 1948 after
commissioned U.S. Army service, includ-
ing as a lawyer in the war crimes trials
following the end of World War II.
Quite a few fellow officers with
small-town backgrounds joined the