The Foreign Service Journal - June 2016
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JUNE 2016



Take AFSA With You! Change your address online, visit us at address Or Send changes to: AFSAMembership Department 2101 E Street NW Washington, DC 20037 Moving?

Unfortunately such projects are no

longer supported by the U.S. government,

which is a huge mistake. We still have the

best university system in the world, and

we are the first-choice destination for

international students around the globe.

This would be a much wiser use of our

limited development funding than the

current “flavor of the month” approach,

which varies from administration to


Tibor Nagy

Ambassador, retired

Lubbock, Texas

Learning from Northern


Having spent nearly a quarter of my

career dealing with Northern Ireland at

one level or another, I read Andrew Sens’

excellent article with great interest (“Eth- nic and Sectarian Conflict—Two Core Issues,” April FSJ ).

Given our current political environ-

ment and the many cleavages in our

society, I could not help but reflect on

how the two central concepts of the Good

Friday Agreements might be applied here

at home.

Goodness knows, our polity could use

a generous dose of parity of esteem and

equal application of the law.

Jack Binns

Ambassador, retired

Tucson, Arizona

Remembering Ed Dillery

Steve Honley’s April Appreciation of Ed Dillery was superb. The Foreign Service

is loaded with fine people, distinguished

people of all manner. To my mind Ed Dil-

lery was the ultimate gentleman—profes-

sionally, socially, in tennis or over a bowl

of Vietnamese pho.

Ed took time to understand people,

their behavior, their attitudes, their

rationale. Of a strong analytical bent, Ed

showed no harshness or hatred of anyone.

At his most extreme, he showed a certain

level of chagrin.

Ed was a wonderful addition to the

State Department, continuing well into his

retirement years. He was one of the finest

gentlemen I have known.

Douglas Watson

FSO, retired

Arlington, Virginia


Jonita Whitaker

Very occasionally in life you meet an

individual whose personality combines

lightning and sunshine. Jonita Whitaker

was such a person.

Jonita’s personal dynamismwas

compelling; she had vision and the energy

to carry complex projects to completion.

And she did so with an infectious enthusi-

asm that engaged colleagues and all those

with whom she interacted.

Consequently, news of her abrupt

death on April 7 struck like an unexpected

solar eclipse.

I first met Jonita when she assumed

directorship of the Bureau of Political-

Military Affairs’ Office of the Coordinator

of the Foreign Policy Advisor Program

(PM/POLAD) in June 2008.

For many years, PM/POLAD had

seemed to me a tranquil, semi-backwater

focused on providing senior FSOs to

senior U.S. military commanders in Wash-

ington and overseas. Its directors were

normally senior male political officers,

sometimes on brief bridge-equivalent

assignments and sometimes on their

“tombstone” tour in Washington.

Jonita was very different: not male,

not a political officer, neither a pol-mil

specialist nor someone with military cre-

dentials, and not a “Europeanist” NATO

hand, Arabist or East Asian expert.