Page 19 - Foreign Service Journal - September 2013

This is a SEO version of Foreign Service Journal - September 2013. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »
may differ with current orthodoxy. For if not us, who?
“When AFSA issues the call for nominations for the 2014
dissent awards this fall, please consider nominating a deserv-
ing colleague—or even yourself—for one of these unique
awards. You will do us all a great service by honoring the best
among us.”
AFSA established its Lifetime Contributions to American
Diplomacy Award in 1995, to honor individuals for extraor-
dinary achievements to the Foreign Service and foreign
affairs. Most of the winners have been career Foreign Service
officers, but President George H.W. Bush, Secretaries of State
Cyrus Vance, George Shultz and Larry Eagleburger (the only
FSO ever to serve in that position), Senators Richard Lugar
and Sam Nunn, and Representative Lee Hamilton have also
received the award.
Since 1999, when I became the
associate editor, it
has been my pleasure to interview and profile each recipient
of that award. This year AFSA honored retired Ambassador
George W. Landau, a three-time chief of mission in Latin
America and human rights advocate who is still an energetic
advocate for diplomacy at the age of 93. You’ll find my profile
of him on p. 24.
Honoring Dissenters
In addition to the detailed coverage of all this year’s win-
ners in the
section, we invited this year’s winners
of the W. Averell Harriman Award for constructive dissent by
junior officers (FS-6 through FS-4) and the William R. Rivkin
Award for mid-level officers (FS-3 through FS-1) to contrib-
ute articles explaining the substantive policy issues on which
they dissented. (This year, AFSA did not confer its two other
dissent awards: the Christian A. Herter Award, honoring
constructive dissent by Senior Foreign Service officers, and
the F. Allen “Tex” Harris Award for dissent by Foreign Service
Theodore Lyng, political counselor in Jakarta, received this
year’s William R. Rivkin Award for his tireless efforts to per-
suade the State Department leadership of the need to engage
with all groups within Indonesian civil society, including
conservative Muslims. He describes the importance of such
initiatives in “Engaging Muslim Leaders to Promote People-
to-People Ties” (p. 36).
This year’s recipient of the 2013 W. Averell Harriman
Award for constructive dissent by an entry-level Foreign Ser-
vice officer is James T. Rider, who argued that the Department
of State’s interpretation of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000
was effectively granting citizenship to children who would
never have qualified had they applied in the United States. He
and co-author Shane Myers, who supported his dissent while
both served in Caracas, set forth their view of the subject in
“What Makes Someone an American Citizen?” (p. 38).
One concern that Foreign Service personnel sometimes
express about being nominated for an AFSA dissent award is
whether such recognition will hurt their career. While there
is no simple, “one size fits all” answer to that question, the
evidence suggests that is not generally the case. For reflec-
tions from eight past dissent award winners on the impact of
dissent on policy and their careers, check out Associate Editor
Shawn Dorman’s article, “AFSA’s Constructive Dissent Award
Winners: Where Are They Now?” (p. 44).
We very much hope this issue will spark continued debate
and dialogue about dissent, both within these pages and in
the Foreign Service itself—and participation in AFSA’s awards
program. We welcome letters, Speaking Out columns and
articles from you, either responding to points our contribu-
tors have made or filling in gaps in our coverage, at
For more detailed information on AFSA’s Constructive
Dissent Award Program, including criteria and procedures
for nominating recipients and lists of past winners, visit,
or contact
Perri Green, AFSA’s coordinator for awards and outreach, at
or (202) 338-4045, ext. 521.
“We owe it to our country
to use what we know and to
give our honest views, even
when theymay difer with
current orthodoxy.”
–JohnW. Limbert