The Foreign Service Journal - June 2014 - page 56

JUNE 2014
Revision of FAM Regulations on Public Speaking and Writing
Many members enjoy speaking and writing in a professional and personal capacity.
(Have you thought about contributing to
The Foreign Service Journal
?) Developing
these skills is important to an employee’s professional development (see promo-
tion precepts). AFSA is particularly interested in protecting the employee’s ability to
do so in a private capacity.
For more than a year AFSA has been negotiating a revision to the current Foreign
Affairs Manual regulations governing public speaking and writing (3 FAM 4170). As
mentioned in our 2013 Annual Report, our focus has been to accommodate the rise
of social media and protect the employee’s ability to publish. We have emphasized
the importance of a State Department response to clearance requests within a
defined period of time (30 days or less). For those items requiring interagency review, our
goal is to increase transparency, communication and oversight.
We look forward to finalizing the negotiations on the FAM chapter soon—stay tuned for
its release.
The Importance of Diplomacy in the Information Age
On April 29, AFSA welcomed
retired Ambassador Lau-
rence Pope to speak about
his new book,
The Demilitar-
ization of American Diplo-
macy: Two Cheers for Striped
(Palgrave Pivot, 2014).
Both in that volume and
his prepared remarks at AFSA
headquarters, Amb. Pope viv-
idly described what he sees as
the growing marginalization of
the State Department and its
Foreign Service.
Among several trends
converging to intensify those
problems, according to Pope,
are the downgrading of pro-
fessional diplomats in favor
of non-career appointees,
and the migration of policy
functions to the White House
and the National Security
Council staff.
The ambassador also
deplored the growing vogue
within State for elevating
networking with civic and
nongovernmental actors, at
the expense of dealing with
All these trends are
reflected in the 240-page
report issued following the
2010 Quadrennial Diplomacy
and Development Review,
which only mentions the
Foreign Service a few times.
Amb. Pope expressed the
hope that the new QDDR pro-
cess, now underway, will do a
better job of empowering the
career Foreign Service to deal
with the world as it is, utiliz-
ing creative government-to-
with his enthusiastic audi-
ence. He wryly noted that he
had few solutions to offer, but
hoped that there was value in
asking the questions.
During his 31-year
Foreign Service career
(1969-2000), Laurence
Pope served as U.S.
ambassador to Chad
from 1993 to 1996
among other senior posi-
tions. From 2012 to 2013,
he served as chargé
d’affaires in Tripoli. He is
also the author o
f Letters
(1694–1700) of François
de Callières to the Mar-
quis d’Huxelles
Mellen Press, 2004).
To view the event online,
please go to
–Steven Alan Honley,
Contributing Editor
Ambassador Laurence Pope, speaking at AFSA on April 29.
government diplomacy.
Following his presenta-
tion, Amb. Pope engaged in
an extensive Q-and-A session
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