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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

JULY-AUGUST 2015

11

reasons at high-threat posts. Special-

needs families are limited to posts

that have quality care. Colleagues with

medical issues are limited to posts that

have adequate health care facilities

or from which they can be quickly

evacuated.

We cannot order a foreign

government to change; we can only

advise and act as an example.

Bidding is a negotiation, and there are

positives and negatives for all posts. I am

currently in Haiti after assignments in

Algiers and Islamabad. I was married the

entire time. Islamabad was an unaccom-

panied post. In Algiers, the State Depart-

ment pushed on behalf of my spouse,

then offered to pay me involuntary sepa-

rate maintenance allowance because of

the country’s refusal to grant diplomatic

accreditation to same-sex spouses.

That gesture showed a willing-

ness to take care of an employee

and his family in the face of discrim-

ination by a foreign government.

I worked with the task force that

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham

Clinton stood up when the decision

was first taken to make same-sex

spouses eligible family members. GLI-

FAA is not the only point of contact in

the State Department for gay issues.

Again, I wish to express my full

support for the efforts of the Bureau of

Human Resources team and the entire

State Department leadership. Many

others, I believe a majority of State

employees, share my point of view. The

department is a leader when it comes

to LGBT inclusion in the workforce. I

am honored to be a part of the Foreign

Service and look forward to many future

years of happy employment.

Antonio G. Agnone

FSO

Embassy Port-au-Prince

Empowering Women

in Nepal

There are many initiatives to help

Nepal after the devastating earthquakes,

but I would like to share a story that

spotlights the State Department.

Under Secretary of State Hillary Rod-

ham Clinton, a program was launched

to support female leaders around the

world. These women are selected from

developing countries to receive training

for a few weeks during the summer at

participating U.S. women’s colleges to

advance their work back home.

Last May, I was delighted tomeet the

women leaders of 2014. Radha Paudel had

been chosen fromNepal. Her English was

not great, but she benefited tremendously

from the training in project development

andmanagement during the summer

program.

After the course, Ms.

Paudel visited me in San

Diego before return-

ing to Nepal. I learned

that she is a nurse

who was selected for

the award due to her

selfless work to bring

health care to women

and children in the

most remote regions of

Nepal—Jumla and Karnali—through her

nongovernmental organization, Action

Works Nepal

(www.actionworksnepal

.

com).

She single-handedly reduced

the high number of women dying in

childbirth, set up the first clinic in the

area and started classes on hygiene and

empowerment for local women and girls.

She also helped the women start a small

tea-growing business.

I visited Nepal again later in the year,

and threw a tea in her honor in Kath-

mandu to celebrate her selection for the

State Department award. I invited the

U.S. embassy’s USAID deputy and heads

of some NGOs (which are run primarily

by women of the highest caste).

Ms. Paudel told me that they had

refused to meet with her previously

because her “skin was too dark.” Despite

the tea and few attendees, she has

kept working on behalf of women and

girls without significant Nepalese or

American support.

This was all before the earthquakes.

Thankfully, she finally responded to

my emails. She survived both quakes,

but no housing is safe in the village

she is in. The people are in dire need

of everything, and she is there trying to

help as the only outside person on the

spot.

I consider her to be a true leader and

heroine.

Marilyn J. Bruno

FSO, retired

Former State Rep on the AFSA

Governing Board (1997-2000)

Oceanside, California

Correction

In “Diplomatic Security Triage in a Dangerous World” by Anthony Quainton in the May Foreign Service Journal, we

printed an Associated Press photo of

the front of Embassy Dar es Salaam

after the August 1998 terrorist bombing.

The caption identified the two men in

the photo as a U.S. Marine and an FBI

investigator, which is the information

provided with the purchased photo.

An attentive reader alerted us to the

fact that the “FBI investigator” (in the

maroon shirt) is actually Regional Security

Officer John DiCarlo, now retired.

RSO DiCarlo had arrived at post only

days before the Aug. 7, 1998, attack, but

noticed right away that the local guards

were not operating the vehicle sally port

Citizenshipand

unwedbordermoms

published by the american foreign service association

april 2015

40yearsafterthefallofsaigon

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