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Page Background

the Foreign Service journal


may 2016



e began preparing this issue of

The Journal

in January, with a

broadcast message to retired and

former members of the Foreign

Service requesting input on the

“afterlife.” We asked members to

reflect on what they wished they

had known earlier about retirement and what advice they would

give their younger selves on planning for it. We asked what they

wish they had known before joining the Foreign Service. And we

asked them to tell us about their interesting post-FS lives, includ-

ing advice for others who may want to take a similar path.

The response was quick and abundant. We received more

than 45 thoughtful essays—far too many to publish in one

month, so we have included some here and will feature the rest

in an upcoming issue.

We thank all those who took the time to write. As you will

see, these fascinating commentaries are testimony to the great

variety of meaningful paths open to individuals who have made

a career in the Foreign Service.

Whether you just joined the Service, are paddling along at

mid-level, or negotiating the senior threshold—you are sure to

find these stories inspiring and insightful. Enjoy!

—The Editors

Volunteering for

Disaster Response

By Earl Manno i a


fter retiring in 2000, I

was still doing work

for the State Department

four years later when my

wife, Breda, and I began

doing volunteer work for

the American Red Cross.

We were fascinated by the

work, and felt it would

provide us with the chal-

lenges and opportunities

we wanted in retirement.

We were living in

our new home at Smith

Mountain Lake in Virginia. Within six months we were the

Disaster Action Team leaders for our county. In that capacity we

What We’re

Doing Now


On Life after the foreign service

Earl Mannoia