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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

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JULY-AUGUST 2015

41

Chris Degnan, a public diplomacy-coned Foreign Service

officer since 2002, is serving as the public diplomacy

adviser for the 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Devel-

opment Review. His overseas assignments have included

Kingston, Amsterdam and Curaçao. Prior to joining the

Foreign Service, Degnan worked as a chemical engineer and a radio

sportscaster.

L

ast year, when I joined the team

conducting the State Department’s latest

Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development

Review, I quickly discovered that not all

my friends in the department shared my

excitement for the project. Reactions

ranged from “Better you than me” to

“Huh? What’s a QDDR?”

As I explained to the skeptics,

my enthusiasm comes from a belief that diplomacy and

development matter and, in an era of limited resources, should

be conducted as strategically as possible. The QDDR is our

chance to look beyond the crises of the day to modernize every

aspect of our work.

In addition, my desire to be part of this second QDDR pro-

cess (

the first was conducted in 2010)

was also based on a more

selfish interest. I have devoted my career to the Foreign Service

because I value public service, but I also want to work for an

institution that values my family. They have chosen this career

with me, so I wanted to try to help ensure that family issues

were considered.

A participant in developing the

2015 Quadrennial Development and

Diplomacy Review summarizes its

highlights for skeptics.

BY CHR I S DEGNAN

FOCUS

ON DIPLOMACY: THE PROFESSION

FIVE THINGS

You Should Know

About the QDDR