The Foreign Service Journal - July/August 2017
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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. Foreign

Service 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

in Dubai.

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-

ing environment.”

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

1993, visit


—Susan B. Maitra, Managing Editor