The Foreign Service Journal - May 2016
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MAY 2016




Here’s to Life After the Foreign Service



Shawn Dorman is the editor of

The Foreign Service Journal.

Service retirees for short-term (up to 1,040

hours in one year) assignments—is now

named the Re-Employed Annuitant (REA)

program. Many retirees find great employ-

ment options through this program—from

working on declassification of documents

or editing the annual Human Rights

Report to serving as a temporary chargé or

filling in on the visa line. The trick is that

finding the jobs is just about completely

based on your network and your relation-

ship with a home bureau.

In a close look at a growing trend—

aging in place—journalist MarthaThomas tells us about community-based “Villages”

around the United States in which volun-

teers support people who want to stay in

their homes as they age. These Villages

can be an excellent fit for FS retirees who

decide they want to “never move again.”

We are excited to share Part I of “Life After the Foreign Service: What We’re Doing Now,” a compilation of responses


our request for input from former Foreign

Service members. In this issue, we share

25 of the 45 essays, and will feature more in

an upcoming issue. I offer sincere thanks

for the generosity with whichmembers of

our community have shared their stories

and their advice for fellow travelers.

We celebrate those who have served in

the U.S. Foreign Service and who continue

to serve in somany ways in retirement. We

sail off to sea with Edmund Hull, pilot a

begin with a spoiler alert for this special

focus: There


life after the Foreign

Service. This is true whether you leave

before you have to or with the gentle

nudge or push out the door on reaching

age 65 or some earlier threshold you do

not cross. The “up or out” system can be

unkind (cruel?), but it can also lead to

grand new opportunities whenever that

“out” comes along. And, for those who stay

in for 20 years, that afterlife is funded by a

full pension. That is no small thing.

We begin with the practical, “Retire- ment Planning 101,” written by John

Naland, a recent Foreign Service retiree

and former AFSA president. As a former

director of the Office of Retirement, John

knows what he’s talking about, and shares

valuable advice on what to consider when

approaching retirement.

Then we move to the inspirational,

hearing from recent retiree Dean Haas about his choice to leave early, while h


Foreign Service career was still going

strong, to pursue other passions and


FS retiree Ann Sides

shares her

personal journey “FromConsul General to

Police Volunteer,” discovering—as many

have—that consular career skills can be

highly relevant for completely new lines of


Larry Cohen

, a former AFSA vice

president for retirees, explains how to play

the rehired annuitant

game. What has long

been known as WAE

hiring (While Actually

Employed)—a system

for hiring Foreign

plane with Brian Carlson and protect wild

horses with Charlotte Roe. We become

mayors and attorneys and disaster relief

workers and consultants and volunteers

and academics and writers. We hope you’ll

find inspiration in these stories, as well as

some practical advice on how to navigate

the post-FS waters.

Elsewhere in the issue, retired FSO Ray-

mond Smith (another sailor) speaks out on

U.S. policy toward Syria and the so-called

Islamic State group. In “Hippocrates and Hobbes, Assad and ISIS,” he argues that

for other than life-and-deathmatters, the

Hippocratic oathmight be a better guide to

foreign policy than the urge to do good.

And, in another take on the problems

of foreign assistance, retired USAID FSO Barry Hill shows the benefits of involving

agribusiness and trade associations in agri-

cultural development work in Africa.

In an extended Reflection, retired FSO Jeffrey Glassman takes us to a forgot- ten cemetery in Vienna. We’ve loosened

the word-count limit on Reflections to

allow for longer essays and the inclusion

of photos, and we’re looking for more of

them. Please send your 650- to 1,200-word

Reflection to


Next month, we take a dive into cor-

ruption as a foreign policy issue and open

a window on the subject of support for

FS kids with special needs. As always, we

welcome your feedback.


We hope you’ll find inspiration in these stories, as

well as some practical advice on how to navigate

the post-FS waters.