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48

JULY-AUGUST 2017

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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

Amb. Laura Dogu:

When Mary Ryan was the assistant sec-

retary in consular affairs and I was the visa chief in the Middle

East during 9/11, Mary sent a message saying she was forced

to share the names of the officers who had issued visas to the

hijackers. She continued by saying that people should not

worry because they did nothing wrong and she would not let

anything happen to them. In the end, the only person to lose

her job was Mary Ryan. She led by example. She believed suc-

cesses belonged to her team but all their failures were hers.

LB

:

What has been the single biggest factor in your success?

What was your most difficult obstacle?

Amb. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley:

I do not give up. I’ve

been fired twice, though once I refused to go and was able to

turn the situation around. I have found low expectations of me

as a minority to be a bigger obstacle than low expectations of

me as a woman, though they both remain in good supply in

the State Department. I struggle against frustration at the lack

of seriousness about increasing diversity in the department’s

senior levels. We have to be held accountable for the results.

Amb. Deborah Malac:

I was raised believing that if you

work hard and always do your best, recognition will come. This

is not, perhaps, the best approach to take in an organization

that forces people to be shameless self-promoters in order

to find the next assignment or to get that next promotion.

Nonetheless, it has paid off for me. I have continued to bring

my best every day and to look for new and interesting oppor-

tunities and assignments that take me out of my comfort zone,

and offer an opportunity to learn something new or to develop

a new skill.

n

I have found low expectations

of me as a minority to be

a bigger obstacle than low

expectations of me as a

woman, though they both

remain in good supply in the

State Department.

Amb. Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley