THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
AFSA President Barbara Stephenson
says that training acquired through
assignments is the primary form oftraining in the Foreign Service (Presi- dent’s Views, May FSJ ). Frankly I see t
as a great problem.
Training through assignments, and
the often-absent quality mentoring, is at
best a hit-or-miss situation. Any serious
diplomatic establishment should have
a proper diplomatic school or acad-
emy where new entrants can have a
minimum of one year of full-time career
training, or ideally two years.
This is especially essential at a time
when we are emphasizing diversity.
Diversity is a great advantage to the
Service, but the diverse backgrounds of
the candidates must be fleshed out with
In the early days of the Service, when
most entrants had studied subjects at
university closely tied to the needs of
the department’s work, that was not too
important. That is no longer the case,
however, and therefore must be rem-
edied. We are falling very short on this
score and thus doing a great disservice
to many new officers.
CorrectionThe photo in Sarah Sewall’s “Corrup- tion: A 21st-Century Security Challenge,”
, was wrongly captioned.
The photo on p. 21 shows Under
Secretary Sewall discussing links between
corruption, human trafficking and illegal
fishing with port security officials in
Thailand, not her visit to a police station in
We regret the error, which has been cor-
rected in the
s online edition.