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APRIL 2016


Foreign Service Journal

Editorial: New Opportunity

for the Service


he announcement by President Lyndon

Johnson that he was conferring new

authority on the Secretary of State to super-

vise and direct the interdepartmental overseas

activities of the entire government is of major

significance for the Foreign Service … and, we

venture to say, the majority of [the



readers welcome this long-overdue step which

is so necessary to give effect to the primacy of national

policy, as the President sees it, over the specialized inter-

ests of the various agencies of the government.

The internal reorganization with the President’s direc-

tive, introduces the concept of Country Director. It is

designed to provide the Secretary and Under Secretary

with the backing they need to staff the new groups and by

this means carry out their new mandate. The creation of

the post of Country Director provides a focus for Wash-

ington backing for country overseas programs.

In the past there was a division between

the responsibility of the desk officer for these

activities and the authority to carry them out,

which more often lay at the Office Director

or Deputy Assistant Secretary level. With the

proper rank, authority and familiarity with

the situation, the Country Director should

be in a position to provide leadership over

country programs, government-wide. It is to

be hoped that the days are past when major

policy decisions are discussed without the respon-

sible and knowledgeable officer being present.

Although the authority and machinery now appears

to be established, the system will depend for its effective

operation on the vigor and ability with which it is admin-

istered. It is hoped that this momentum can be contin-

ued, for the specter of interdepartmental groups which

degenerated into formalistic paper mills is all too familiar

to most of us.

The success of the system will depend on the leadership

which the Department and the Foreign Service give to it.

50 Years Ago

230-strong case study library; (2) policy

and research, by convening a series

of working groups at ISD to explore

diplomatic challenges, make recom-

mendations for policy-makers and begin

a new Ph.D. fellowship program; and,

(3) public outreach, by enhancing the

Washington Post

’s popular and acces-

sible blog The Monkey Cage, which high-

lights social science research in a foreign

affairs context.

Most importantly, the grant signifies

a huge (and necessary) investment in

the study of diplomacy and diplomatic


The Journal featured ISD’s case stud- ies website as the “Site of the Month” in


—Shannon Mizzi,

Editorial Assistant

Pakistani Students

Challenge Extremism

for P2P Win


n February, a group of students from

the University of Lahore was declared

the winner of a competition sponsored

by the State Department, Department

of Homeland Security, Facebook and

EdVenture Partners called “Peer to Peer:

Challenging Extremism.”

Forty-five teams from universities in

17 countries participated in the competi-

tion, with the goal of creating a social

media outreach campaign to reach young

people who are vulnerable to recruitment

by terrorist organizations.

Each teamwas given $2,000 to design

and launch a programon their university

campuses and in their home communities.

The winning campaign, “FATE: From

Apathy to Empathy,” is a multiplatform

consciousness-raising effort that plays out

on social media, using graphics, music

and a peace pledge, which students can

sign in solidarity against violence.

The FATE team also held live events,

such as concerts and workshops, to edu-

cate young people over the past several

months. The teamwon $5,000 to further

expand their campaign.

According to Assistant Secretary for

Education and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan,

the goal of the peer-to-peer (P2P) cam-

paigns is tomake young people feel less

isolated and give them a sense of purpose.

“We live in a country that deals with

terror on a daily basis. But there’s a tre-

mendous amount of apathy toward that

violence,” Mashal Imran, a member of the

winning team, said.