THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Career Diplomacy Today
BY SHAWN DORMAN
Shawn Dorman is the editor of
The Foreign Service Journal.Thrive,”
Ambassador (ret.) Stephen
McFarland presents a set of sugges-
tions—a permanent To-Do list—for
developing the unique attributes of a
Foreign Service professional.
Finally, we look at the intake process,
how to join the Foreign Service. Becom-
ing an FSO for State is one of the most
competitive processes for any career.
In 2008, the process was revamped
anda “total candidate” approach
We are grateful to the Board of
Examiners—the people who run the
hiring process—for providing a guidefrom the source in “Examining State’s Foreign Service Officer Hiring Today,”
by FSO and BEX Assessor Glenn Gui-
mond. This is the article to share with
friends who are considering the career.
And for our student readers consider-
ing this path, we offer a three-page listof “State Department Opportunities for Students.”
This month’s Speaking Out column
addresses the career, too, as entry-levelofficer Andrew Kelly suggests ways to reform entry-level assignments.
Following on our coverage of mental
health care issues in the January-Feb-
ruary issue, retired FSO Angela Dickeyshares ideas for addressing the effects of work in high-stress environments.
And, as promised, we bring you PartII of “Life After the Foreign Service: What We’re Doing Now.” Part I’s 22
essays, published in the May issue,
proved popular with readers, and Part II
(25 essays) will surely also resonate.
elcome to the summer
double issue of the
. This month we focus
on various aspects of the
Foreign Service career.
First, we take a close look at the state
of family member employment, an issue
that can and sometimes does determine
whether a member of the Foreign Ser-
vice stays or goes.
One major barrier to employment at
post has long been the wait for security
clearance approval. Each new posting
has required a new clearance, which
always takes months and, in some
cases, can take as long as a full tour to
But as former FSJ associate editor
and family member Debra Blome was
working on the article, State announcedthe Foreign Service Family Reserve Corps, which may offer a real step
forward. The bottom-line benefit is that
once family members do get that secu-
rity clearance, they will be able to carry
it with them from post to post.
What about when both spouses are
in the Foreign Service? Tandems have
their own set of unique challenges, asdescribed in “Tandem Couples: Serving Together, Apart,” by FSOs Fred Odisho
and Whitney Dubinsky. They argue for
more creative policies to help ensure
that tandems can be
assigned to the same
post at the same time.In “A Roadmap for New Hires: 30 Rules to Survive and