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MARCH 2016



Take AFSA With You! Change your address online, visit us at 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


Kit Norland

FSO, retired

Arlington, Virginia

Young at the

United Nations

Did Cecile Shea pull a punch in the

introduction 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.

Richard McKee

FSO, retired

Arlington, Virginia

Hispanic Firsts

in Diplomacy

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