THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
s Director General of the Foreign Service, I have
been doing considerable thinking these past months
concerning the future role and the ever-increasing responsi-
bilities of the Foreign Service.
…When all possible alternatives are examined one cannot
escape the conclusion that the arguments supporting the
maintenance of a professional, merit-oriented, highly moti-
vated career system is more valid today than at any time in
the history of our nation. The question is really not whether
we should continue to opt for a career system, but what new
concepts must be employed to meet new demands.
…We should focus our attention to a recruitment system
which hires talent fromwhatever source that may be avail-
able to meet the requirements of the moment. The mainte-
nance of a highly professional career corps does not in any
way disparage the collateral need for a variety of talent from
government sources and elsewhere, bringing a wealth of
experience to bear upon our total foreign affairs problem.
In fact, the two concepts are complementary rather
than antagonistic. …In developing this concept of our for-
eign affairs establishment, one
reaches for parallels by way of
illustration with some trepidation, for no
two situations are sufficiently alike to provide an absolute
precedent. There is, however, sufficient similarity to our
armed services to warrant a comparison.
…The fact that the career Foreign Service does not wear
uniforms or handle visible weapons does not essentially
change the facts. Continuing and timely consideration needs
to be constantly given to the techniques of recruitment,
training, raising of professional standards, together with pro-
viding conditions of service and disciplines to be observed
and rewards to be granted in recognition.
But the removal of this stiffening in our foreign affairs
establishment by muting or weakening the career Foreign
Service can only be inimical to the country’s fortunes.
—Ambassador John M. Steeves entered the Foreign
Service in 1947. He was Director General of the U.S. ForeignService from 1966 to 1969. Excerpted from the August 1967 Foreign Service Journal .
50 Years Ago
New Responsibilities for an Old Service
by John M. Steeves
This year’s awardees include Public
Affairs Officer Dolores Prin at the U.S.
Consulate General in Okinawa, Deputy
Public Affairs Officer JustenThomas at
Embassy Havana, Miami Media Hub
Director Lydia Barraza, Public Affairs
Officer Jay Raman at Embassy Phnom
Penh (all of whom are AFSA members)
and Educational Adviser Alia Alkhraisha
Dolores Prin redefined how the U.S.
consulate reaches out to the Okinawan
public, which has long been hostile to
the American presence on the island.
Her citation read: “For highly innovative
and creative initiatives to engage tens
of thousands of Okinawans and foster a
positive image of America in a challeng-
Award winners Lydia Barraza and
JustenThomas significantly influenced
the public narrative in support of nor-
malizing U.S.-Cuban relations. “Their
ability to ‘fill the media space’ allowed
us to build a consistent narrative on our
terms,” Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
said. Their work helped frame messages
that reached tens of millions of viewers
around the world and led to the relaunch
of important State Department programs
in the country.
Award recipient Jay Raman’s initia-
tives to implement strategic cultural heri-
tage preservation programs significantly
contributed to U.S.-Cambodian relations
because of the high importance that gov-
ernment places on its cultural heritage
as a source of pride and as an engine for
economic growth, wrote Deputy Chief of
Mission Julie Chung.
Education Adviser Alia Alkhraisha
organized and participated in more
than 60 major outreach events on behalf
of EducationUSA in Dubai, reaching an
audience of more than 38,000 students,
educators and university representa-
As a result, for the first time the United
States can do educational outreach in
UAE public schools. Alkhraisha’s example
is now being used by other EducationUSA
centers across the 19 countries in the
For full coverage of the PDAA awards
and a complete list of award winners since
—Susan B. Maitra, Managing Editor