The Foreign Service Journal - April 2016
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APRIL 2016




Mass MigrationMatters



Shawn Dorman is the editor of

The Foreign Service Journal.

gee Coordinator Matt Johnson brings us to

the front lines through his personal expe-

rience setting up an office for the Bureau

of Population, Refugees and Migration at

Consulate Adana. He monitors, advocates

and reports on the situation from the field.


“Partnering to Meet Urgent Needs,

former FSO Laura Lane, now president of

global public affairs for UPS, describes the

complex challenge of playing a construc-

tive role in the midst of today’s climate of

“anxious apprehension” about refu-

gees. Sharing her own experiences from

Rwanda to Iraq, she argues for govern-

ment-corporate partnerships to provide

humanitarian assistance more effectively.

Retired FSO Carol Colloton offers a

primer on refugee resettlement in the

United States in “How Refugee Resettle- ment in the United States Actually Works.

The United States, historically, has per-

manently resettled more refugees than all

other countries combined, she notes, ask-

ing whether the American commitment to

assisting refugees may be fading.


“Pitching In to Do Vital Work,

Career Ambassador (ret.) Johnny Young

shares his experiences working on refugee

resettlement in a post-Foreign Service

position as executive director for the

Office of Migration and Refugee Ser-

vices for the U.S. Conference of Catholic


Elsewhere, in Features, educator

Don Lotter proposes a shift in focus


development aid to Africa and retired FSO

Andrew Sens identifies two essential ele- ments for resolving ethnic and sectarian


here are more than 60 million

people in the world today who

have been forcibly displaced,

according to the United Nations.

Millions are on the move, the major-

ity fleeing war and disintegration in their

home countries. At the epicenter of the

present crisis are the war-torn nations of

Syria and Iraq, fromwhich a mass migra-

tion of refugees larger than any since

World War II emanates.

That is our focus this month, but what

can the


contribute to the discus-

sion of an ongoing crisis that is making

headlines daily and figures in domestic

political discourse around the world?

We illustrate the breadth and enormity

of the challenge from a unique vantage

point—the perspectives of practitioners

of humanitarian diplomacy, those in the

field assessing needs, managing refugee

issues and delivering assistance.

Although the United States holds

the distinction as the largest provider of

humanitarian assistance, the unprece-

dented dimensions of today’s needs weigh

heavy on all who work in this field.

Our look at the current situation begins

with a Q&A with Deputy High Commis- sioner for Refugees Kelly Clements. She

offers an overview of the refugee crisis and

the practice of humanitarian diplomacy,

explaining the role of UNHCR in address-

ing “both root causes

of refugee movements

and immediate threats

to their safety.”

In “On the Ground in Turkey,” FSO Refu-

Up front, AFSA President Ambassador

Barbara Stephenson discusses a vital

topic in

“Building the Deep Bench

.” She

emphasizes AFSA’s determination—as

the principal advocate for the long-term

strength of the Foreign Service—to ensure

that solutions to short-term challenges

do not erode the long-term health of the


Looking back to the January-February

focus on mental health services, I am

pleased to report that it—in particular, the

compilation of FS member comments—

has led to discussion inside the foreign

affairs agencies of the need to address

problems you raised, including access

to care, privacy, transparency about the

clearance process and toxic workplaces.

Help keep the conversation going

by continuing to share your views with



. In January, we promised

a separate look at mental health and

special needs services for Foreign Service


That topic emerged as a serious con-

cern for FS families, with some reporting

that it is becoming more difficult to obtain

the services they need. We will publish

readers’ comments on this in June and

anticipate an in-depth look at the issue by

the end of the year.

Looking ahead, the May focus on life

after the Foreign Service will offer inspir-

ing insights into what people do once they

leave the Foreign Service, and ideas to

consider. So many people responded to

our question “what are you doing now?”

that we will run that compilation over

several months.