The Foreign Service Journal - June 2016
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JUNE 2016




A Heightened Focus on Corruption



Shawn Dorman is the editor of

The Foreign Service Journal.

Department officials.

Yes, we have three articles from State

Department officials writing in their

official capacities. This is something we

usually avoid. As AFSA’s flagship pub-

lication, the


is the voice of the U. S.

Foreign Service—not a State Department

mouthpiece—and we value our editorial

independence highly.

In this case, eachmember of the FSJ

Editorial Board—a model of good gover-

nance at the micro level—evaluated and

scored each article separately on its merits,

as always. Following a lively debate about

the wisdomof publishing three pieces

from senior department officials, the board

decided it was worth doing.

The reasoning: Each article takes a

different angle on the theme, and together

they comprise a solid overview of current

U.S. policy on corruption—corruption as

a front-line policy priority (Assistant Sec- retary Brownfield); the security dimensio


of corruption

(Under Secretary Sewall)


and a ground-level case study in efforts to

combat corruption

(FSOGeorge Kent)


Those articles are followed by an

examination of “The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Rule of Law Abroad” byThomas Firestone, an expert on inter-

national corruption and attorney who

spent eight years as a legal adviser at U.S.

Embassy Moscow.

And for an assessment of the impact

that tolerance of corruption can have on

outcomes, State Department Historian Ste- phen Randolph offers “Foreign Policy and the Complexities of Corruption: The Case of South Vietnam.”

his month’s focus is on global

anti-corruption efforts, a leading

foreign policy priority for the

United States. The problemof

corruption and its corrosive impact and

the challenge of working in countries

around the world to combat it are not new

to diplomats and development profes-

sionals of the U.S. Foreign Service. But the

issue is taking on a new urgency in 2016 as

global awareness of the security dimension

of corruption expands.

As we go to press, Secretary of State

John F. Kerry is in London participating

in the first-ever global Anti-Corruption

Summit—a gathering of world leaders

from government, business and civil

society. The summit produced a first

Global Declaration Against Corruption,

announcedMay 12, in which world leaders

agreed that:

• Corruption should be exposed—

ensuring there is nowhere to hide.

•The corrupt should be pursued and

punished, and those who have suffered

from corruption fully supported.

• Corruption should be driven out—

wherever it may exist.

Ambassador Stephenson devotes her

President’s Views column

to the subject,

calling on Foreign Service members to

rally behind this policy emphasis and play

a critical role in the global effort to take

on corruption and

promote good gover-

nance. She launches

the focus, introducing

the three lead articles

fromhigh-level State

With that overview on the table, we

invite you join the conversation. The


’s primary role is to provide a forum

for the lively debate of issues of interest to

foreign affairs professionals, to foster dis-

cussion and to share the unique perspec-

tives of diplomatic practitioners.

Is the U.S. getting it right on anti-cor-

ruption? Does the U.S. government today

have a credible voice in this discussion?

If not, how can it regain that voice? What

should the United States be doing to com-

bat corruption, and how can the Foreign

Service best advocate for clean and trans-

parent governance?

Send feedback to,

or respond to the articles when we share

themon the FSJ and AFSA Facebook pages. On a closely related topic, our lead feature this month by FSO Tracy Whit- tington spotlights a model of governme


transparency, the Foreign Relations of the United States series program in State’s

Office of the Historian, which publishes

declassified government documents trac-

ing U.S. foreign policy.

Elsewhere you will find a

Speaking Out

calling for more support for families with

children who have special needs. And in

“Mental Health Support for FS Children: Parents Weigh In” we share a compila-

tion of the comments we received for the

January-February focus onmental health

care in the FS that were specific to FS


Next month, we bring you an inside

look at the Foreign Service career, includ-

ing an article on State Department FS

hiring today and one on the status of FS

spouse employment.