The Foreign Service Journal - May 2014 - page 8

MAY 2014
Remembering Our History
Shawn Dorman is the editor of
The Foreign Service Journal.
his year marks nine decades of
the Foreign Service and AFSA.
On May 24, 1924, President
Calvin Coolidge signed the Rog-
ers Act into law, establishing the modern
Foreign Service. The history of the For-
eign Service and AFSA is our focus in this
anniversary month.
And speaking of birthdays,
The Foreign
Service Journal
is actually 95 this year!
The American Consular Association pub-
lished the first issue of our precursor, the
American Consular Bulletin
in March 1919. That organization was
expanded into the American Foreign Ser-
vice Association after the Rogers Act was
passed, and the magazine was renamed,
as well.
The new publication began with bold
ambitions, which have stood the test of
time: “This first printed bulletin of the
American Consular Association is the
result of a feeling on the part of many
consular officers that there should be
some organ by which information of
interest to the Service might be dissemi-
nated—an organ which would provide a
medium for the exchange of ideas look-
ing to the improvement of the service as
well as news of the activities of particular
Fittingly, it was during that birthday
month that we took the
and other
AFSAmaterials to the International Stud-
ies Association convention in Toronto. The
ISA was established in 1959 to promote
research and education in international
affairs and to be the premier organization
for connecting scholars and practitioners
in the field of international studies.
I made the trip to Toronto, along
with retired FSO Robert Dry, a member
of AFSA’s Professionalism and Ethics
Committee, to represent AFSA and the
Association for Diplomatic Studies and
Our goal was to make connections
in the academic world and share the
practitioners’ perspectives through AFSA
and ADST materials (
The Foreign Service
, the
Inside a U.S. Embassy
and the ADST oral histories, which were
The divide between the study of
international relations and the practice of
diplomacy that I saw firsthand in Toronto
was striking, indeed, and begs to be
addressed. Happily, in this month’s fea-
ture, “The American Way of Diplomacy,”
Robert Hutchings does just that, offering
a reality check and ideas for elevating
diplomacy as a subject for serious study.
To illuminate AFSA’s own 90-year
history, this fall AFSA’s Foreign Service
Books imprint will publish a new book,
The Voice of the Foreign Service: A History
of AFSA.
It’s author, former FSO Harry
Kopp, has been poring over archival
documents and old
s, interviewing,
researching and writing for the last 18
months, and the book is close to
completion. Look for it before
the end of our anniversary year.
For this issue, in “Foreign
Service, Civil Service: HowWe
Got to Where We Are,” Mr. Kopp
looks at the sensitive and some-
times contentious Foreign Service-Civil
Service relationship over time, including
the controversial 1950s Wristonization
program and its impact on the present
state of FS-CS relations.
Then we take a close look at how the
Rogers Act came to be with “In the Begin-
ning: The Rogers Act of 1924,” written by
two retired FSOs, AFSA Vice President
for Retirees Larry Cohen and James
Lamont—who may just be the only per-
son to have written his Ph.D. thesis on the
Rogers Act. Everyone concerned with the
Foreign Service should be familiar with
this act, so here is your primer.
To conclude our focus, we offer a
selection of vignettes from AFSA mem-
bers, active-duty and retired, on some
of their best moments in the Foreign
Service, followed by a condensed AFSA
History Timeline.
Elsewhere in this month’s issue,
Ambassador Robert Hunter calls for “Get-
ting State and the FS Back in the Game”
(Speaking Out). And you’ll find a fascinat-
ing account of Ambassador Charles Yost’s
tenure in Cold War Morocco, written by
his daughter, in FS Heritage.
We welcome your feedback on this
issue and encourage you to think about
submitting a letter or a full article for a
future issue.
can be
found on the
page of the
AFSA website. If you’re keen to
share but not to write, send us
a favorite recent photo from an
interesting place for Local Lens.
Next month, look for perspec-
tives on the diplomatic corps
of other countries, written by
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