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MAY 2017



have a global impact on health, and the

ways ambassadors can and must “seize

the opportunity” that health programs


“As we all work to prepare for and

defeat emerging diseases and pandemics,”

says Amb. Storella, “health programs are

not just international good deeds; they are

an investment in the security of the Ameri-

can people.”

Storella’s story includes a discussion

of the unique role of the U.S. President’s

Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known


told by Dr. Deborah L. Birx,

who oversees PEPFAR as U.S. Global AIDS

Coordinator and U.S. Special Representa-

tive for Global Health Diplomacy.

Launched in 2003 by then-President

George W. Bush and coordinated by the

State Department, PEPFAR stands out as

a critical U.S. interagency program that

is helping to bring the global HIV/AIDS

epidemic under control, in particular in

sub-Saharan Africa where it threatened to

engulf the entire continent.

On April 13, former President Bush,

who had not come into office seeking to

expand soft power, said this about the

program he launched: “When we confront

suffering—when we save lives—we

breathe hope into devastated populations,

strengthen and stabilize society, and make

our country and the world safer.”

Ambassador (ret.) Jimmy Kolker adds

another dimension in “HHS and Health Diplomacy.” He shares insights gained

in taking an unusual path from a 30-year


Health Diplomacy and the

Strength of “Soft” Power



Shawn Dorman is the editor of

The Foreign Service Journal.

ast month we looked at U.S.- Europe relations and explore

d the

importance of foundational diplo-

macy, of maintaining and growing

ties with friends, tending the garden (as

former Secretary of State George Shultz

likes to say, and I like to repeat).

This month, our focus on global health

diplomacy offers another angle on the

same theme, the importance of effective

soft power to serve national security goals.

Relationships, partnerships, ties that can

bind and bend but not break under pres-

sure are what America needs and what

diplomacy and development build.

In this close look at global health

diplomacy, our authors share how the

United States works with partners around

the world to prevent the spread of danger-

ous diseases like HIV/AIDS, Ebola and

Zika. And they throw light on the positive,

nonlinear effects of this work.

When I heard a recent CSIS Global

Health Policy Center podcast interview

with Mark Storella, a career FSO who was

U.S. ambassador to Zambia from 2010

to 2013 and is currently deputy assistant

secretary for the Bureau of Population,

Refugees and Migration, I knew he was

the one to write our lead article.


“Leveraging Health Investments for U.S. Diplomacy


Ambassador Storella

draws on his experi-

ence to spell out the

unique capacity the

United States has to

Foreign Service career to work as assistant

secretary for global affairs in the Depart-

ment of Health and Human Services—

which is doing far more work overseas

than many realize.

In “USAID FSOs Reflect on Global Health Diplomacy” Bea Spadacini spe


with USAID global health officers about

their work saving lives while advancing

U.S. interests. These FSOs explain how

U.S. leadership in global health serves to

push other countries to take health issues

seriously and establish commitments on

a global level.

Ambassador Nancy J. Powell, who led

the State Department’s Ebola Coordina-

tion Unit in 2014 and was senior coordina-

tor for avian influenza in 2005, and Gwen

Tobert, who was a member of the ECU

and now leads the Pandemic Response

Team at State, co-author a fascinating

and practical piece. “Fighting Pandemics: Lessons Learned” offers guidance for a

strategic approach to ensuring the State

Department is prepared to manage future


Also in this issue, you will find a hard- hitting critique of State’s digital diplo- macy, an FS Know-How on dealing with property managers, and more.

Finally, a pitch to all AFSA mem-


please vote

in the AFSA election

going on right now. Make sure your voice

is heard by submitting your ballot


June 8 at 8 a.m.

to select your 2017-2019

AFSA Governing Board and to weigh in

on proposed bylaw amendments. See page 52 for details.

Thank you for participating.