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MAY 2016


Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) intro-

duced the Religious Persecution Relief

Act shortly after the State Department’s

announcement. The RPRA would confer

priority status on religious and other

minorities affected by ISIS in the asylum

application process, and dedicate 10,000

spots exclusively to persecuted minorities

fleeing Syria.

—Shannon Mizzi, Editorial Assistant



Down Under


FSA’s ongoing interest in ambas-

sadorial appointments led us to

look at how the process works in other

developed countries.

It has been easy for us to look across

our northern border to Canada, as the

Canadian press writes about this issue

regularly and with great interest, and

AFSA maintains a good relationship with

PAFSO, our Canadian counterpart.

Suffice it to say, ambassadors from

outside the Canadian career Foreign

Service are fairly rare, and those who

are selected are subjected to significant

media scrutiny.

But how about another close ally—

Australia—which, by the way, routinely

has non-career appointees sitting in the

U.S. embassy in its capital city?

Despite the fact that Australia is a

constitutional monarchy, the process

of appointing chiefs of mission for its

embassies abroad is, in effect, like that

in the United States in that the prime

minister has the greatest say in who is


Australia has a number of non-career

chiefs of mission. Similar to U.S. practice,

there are certain embassies abroad

where such appointees are likely to be

placed, such as London, Rome and Brus-

sels. Also, non-career appointees are

generally dispatched to locations where

you do not need a second language, like

Washington, D.C.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

recently came under criticism for his

appointment of former treasurer Joseph

Hockey—someone from outside the Aus-

tralian Foreign Service—to the position

of ambassador to the United States.

But while the Australian and U.S.

chief-of-mission appointment processes

operate similarly, in Australia non-career

diplomats comprise less than 7 per-

cent of all chiefs of mission, compared

to more than 30 percent in the United


One explanation may be the fact that

it is less expensive to run an election

Take AFSA With You! Change your address online, visit us at address Or Send changes to: AFSAMembership Department 2101 E Street NW Washington, DC 20037 Moving?

I want to tell you that you are not alone. … You know the pain of having

left behind everything that is dear to you and not knowing what the future

will bring. Many others like you are also in camps or towns, waiting, hoping

to build a new life on this continent. We have come to call the attention of the

world to this grave humanitarian crisis and to plead for its resolution. We hope

that the world will heed these scenes of tragic, and indeed desperate,

need, and respond in a way worthy of our common humanity. …

—Pope Francis addressing migrants living at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos on April 16.

Contemporary Quote