The Foreign Service Journal - May 2014 - page 10

MAY 2014
The Young African
Leaders Initiative
I’d like to highlight the Young African
Leaders Initiative for
Foreign Service
readers. This noble endeavor by
the United States is a signature effort to
invest in the next generation of African
leaders. Nearly one in three Africans
are between the ages of 10 and 24, and
approximately 60 percent of Africa’s total
population is below the age of 35.
President Obama launched YALI in
2010 to support young African lead-
ers as they spur growth and prosperity,
strengthen democratic governance, and
enhance peace and security across the
Since 2010, the State Department
has held 15 exchanges for young African
leaders and sponsored 1,283 sub-Saha-
ran scholars through its educational and
cultural affairs programs. U.S. embas-
sies have awarded small grants totaling
$750,000 to YALI alumni groups sup-
porting youth development in Africa.
The YALI programs could be emu-
lated across the globe, especially in
places where there is a lack of under-
standing of basic governance and the
rule of law. The Middle East would be
a great place to start a similar program
for emerging leaders in the areas of civic
engagement, government and business.
As a reader for the YALI program, I
have seen many talented individuals
who aspired to become leaders within
their chosen fields. Sadly, however, due
to a lack of resources and opportunities
within their respective environments,
they were unable to develop their true
potential. So it is truly an honor to be
part of the State Department’s innova-
tive, creative efforts to address this
Programs like YALI are an investment
in the future of those nations, and they
promote the values that we hold dear in
our own nation and those of us in the
Foreign Service strive to impart in the
regions in which we work: democracy,
human rights and the rule of law.
Krishna Das
Foreign Service Specialist
Embassy Baghdad
Correcting Tydings
“Telling Our Stories: The Foreign Affairs
Oral History Collection,” as featured in
AFSA’s 90th anniversary. The excerpts
from the ADST interviews with six diplo-
mats who carried out their assign-
ments with distinction, meeting
many challenges from the 1940s
through the 1990s, offer unique
insights into the professional
and personal aspects of serving
our country abroad.
These well-selected excerpts
will surely encourage many
readers to consult the website
of the Association for Diplo-
matic Studies and Training in search of
“the rest of the story.” The ADST oral his-
tory interviews are a valuable historical
resource—and often a great read, too.
Regarding the interview of FSO John
S. Service, however, I would note that
the chairman of the Tydings Commit-
tee (formally called the Subcommittee
on the Investigation of Loyalty of State
Department Employees), which in 1950
summoned Mr. Service and others to tes-
tify, was U.S. Senator Millard E. Tydings,
D-Md.—not Joseph Tydings, as indicated
in the excerpt.
Millard Tydings served in the Senate
from 1927 until 1951, following his defeat
in the bitter 1950 campaign. His col-
league on the committee, Sen. Joseph
McCarthy, R-Wis., became involved in
the Maryland election and was alleged
to have engaged in unfair and decep-
tive campaign practices. That election
itself became the subject of a Senate
investigation in 1951, but the results were
ultimately allowed to stand. Joseph D.
Tydings, Millard’s son, represented Mary-
land in the U.S. Senate from 1965 to 1971.
Michael D. Orlansky
FSO, retired
Burlington, Vt.
Recalling Anson
In reference to the March AFSA News
exceptional American
diplomat omitted from
the list should be honored
and remembered: Anson
Burlingame, Abraham Lin-
coln’s first envoy to Imperial
China (Qing Dynasty).
While serving in Beijing
(1861-1867), Burlingame
often spoke up for ordinary
Chinese whose voices were
rarely heard. He articulated the issues of
unfairness perpetuated by foreign powers
seeking special privileges, extraterritori-
ality, access to commerce in coastal ports
and other demands.
At the end of his China tour, the Qing
Imperial Court asked him to serve as
its envoy to help renegotiate the many
unequal treaties Western powers had
imposed following the OpiumWars of
1839-1842. The State Department autho-
rized him to do so. (For the full story,
As part of his mission to help China,
the envoy drafted eight articles to supple-
ment the 1858 Treaty of Tientsin. These
formed the Burlingame Treaty of 1868,
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