THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
Instead, she was a management-coned
officer with assignments in Africa, a year
at National Defense University and an
academic background that included a
bachelor’s of science in psychology and a
master’s of public administration.
She also had done something else that
proved to be of particular value: a Pearson
Fellowship on Capitol Hill.
In just a few years, Jonita transformed
PM/POLAD from a “mom and pop” niche
market into a major player. To be sure,
she benefited from the conclusions by
State and the Department of Defense that
our “long war” against terrorism needed
more effective Foreign Service-military
During this process, Jonita orga-
nized relentlessly. The POLAD program
expanded into Iraq and Afghanistan with
cadres of FSOs matched with military
commanders at multiple levels. She
arranged Washington POLAD conferences
coinciding with major military confer-
ences, and then persuaded senior military
commanders to speak frankly to advisers.
With clever creativity, she devised
POLAD symbols, including a flag and a
much-valued coin. And she convinced
PM to publish
The Future of POLADs
in the 21st Century
, useful for years as a
backgrounder and recruiting tool, as a
Jonita did her own stint as a political
adviser to the Commander of the U.S.
Sixth Fleet in Naples before her final posi-
tion as minister-counselor for administra-
tive affairs at Embassy Pretoria. Creative
charmwas her hallmark.
CORRECTIONIn the May Local Lens by John F. Krotzer the body of water pictured is
takenly identified as “Pokhara Lake.”The
proper name is “Phewa Lake.” We regret
the error, and thank attentive reader Larry
Fields for bringing it to our attention.
nFSO Steve Banks responds to the April Speaking Out, “The Department of State: Mission and Vision Examined,” by Ambassador (ret.) Ed Marks.
This is a “solution” in search of a problem. It’s clear to me that the
department is extraordinarily well-served in Washington by its extremely
capable and effective Civil Service personnel. Meanwhile, it’s senseless
to try to convert the bulk of Civil Service positions into FS positions.
It’d be a disaster for every headquarters job to change over every two
years with the FS bidding cycle. There’s a body of expertise unique to
the Washington headquarters milieu that we do not gain overseas. I have
greatly benefited during my domestic assignments from the specialized
knowledge and hard-won experience of my CS colleagues. Plus, we’d be
forcing hundreds of Washington-hating FS personnel to do a lot more
Basically, this idea—seemingly based on little more than FS chauvin-
ism—would create huge management headaches to implement, and for
what? The article doesn’t really articulate how we’d allegedly be better
off were this idea put into effect.
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