the Foreign Service journal
e began preparing this issue of
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!
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
On Life after the foreign service