The Foreign Service Journal - March 2017
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MARCH 2017



What Are the

New FSOs Like?


or the most part, entering

junior FSOs have good under-

graduate scholastic records. They

participated in extracurricular

activities, varying from rigorous

sports through esoteric poetry


While over half have gradu-

ate degrees, two recent entrants did

not have a bachelor’s degree. They

are preponderantly political science,

international affairs, history and

government majors. The intake of

economic majors is rising slowly.

Diversity of educational back-

ground is satisfied by the occasional

science, mathematics, physics, engi-

neering and many other majors. Law-

yers outnumber ordained ministers.

Over one-third of the entrants

have served in the military. About

two-thirds have had overseas experi-

ence in the Peace Corps, the military,

in business and as students or teach-

ers. Almost all states are represented,

with the most populous, California

and NewYork, being the largest sup-


If a measure of the success of the

College Relations Staff is the diversity

of colleges represented, it has been

eminently successful.

But to most of us,“best” does not

mean just an outstanding scholastic

record, wide geographic and col-

legiate distribution,

etc.“Best” is a vague,

indefinable, unmea-

surable quality, the

definition of which is

not universal.

Hence, each of us

evaluates the incom-

ing Junior Foreign

Service officer against his definition.

For my part, I believe the Foreign Ser-

vice, in a highly competitive market, is

doing very well indeed.

They come to the Service eager

to get to work—they are gung-ho.

While appreciating the need of some

minimal training before going to their

first posts, most welcome only that

which is orientation or directly related

to their first assignment or career

advancement (area and language


Experience leads me to conclude

that six months training before

reporting on the job is the saturation

point. After that the curve is down.

They want to go where the action

is.We should get them out of the liv-

ing room and into the kitchen quickly.

—Alexander A. Davit, FSO

Coordinator of Junior Officer Training,

in “An Answer to the QuestionWhat

Are the Entering Junior FSOs Like?”

Excerpted from the March 1967 FSJ .

50 Years Ago

ingly interconnected and interdependent


The privately funded, nonpartisan

center has exhibition halls named after

Secretary Kerry and his predecessors Hill-

ary Clinton, Henry Kissinger and James

Baker. Information about the building,

the exhibits and the history of U.S. diplo-

macy is available at the center’s website:


—Gemma Dvorak,

Associate Editor

Bid to Relocate

U.S. Embassy in Israel


n Jan. 3, Senators Marco Rubio

(R-Fla.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.)

and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) introduced the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act


a bill recognizing Jerusalem as the capital

of Israel and requiring the U.S. embassy

to be relocated there from its current

home in Tel Aviv.

Since the passage of the 1995 Jerusa-

lem Embassy Act, every president—both

Republican and Democrat—has waived

that requirement, invoking national secu-

rity considerations.

Former presidents Bill Clinton,

George W. Bush and Barack Obama have

each cited their belief that congressional

resolutions infringe on the authority of

the executive branch of the U.S govern-

ment to make and implement foreign


One particular concern for the State

Department in the current bill is Section

2 (e), which would withhold 50 percent of

the amounts appropriated to the depart-

ment for embassy security, construction

and maintenance in 2017 if the move

does not take place.

Further, the bill proposes that secu-

rity, construction and maintenance funds

appropriated in 2018 and 2019 should

only be released for construction and

other costs associated with the establish-

ment of a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

—Gemma Dvorak, Associate Editor

Historic Apology for

the State Department’s

“Lavender Scare”



a press statement on Jan. 9,


of State John Kerry issued an historic

formal apology on behalf of the Depart-

ment of State to all lesbian, gay, bisexual,

transgender and intersex (LGBTI) govern-

ment employees who had lost their jobs