Page 8 - Foreign Service Journal - September 2013

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8
SEPTEMBER 2013
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
LETTERS
Respect Foreign Service
Sacrifces
As the widow of Larry Foley, the
USAID executive ofcer gunned down
in Jordan by terrorists looking for an
American target in 2002, I welcomed
Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks
at the AFSA Memorial Plaque cer-
emony on May 3. Te vice president
declared that FSOs should receive the
same respect that we give our military
personnel, because they contribute so
much to our national security and prog-
ress—without carrying weapons.
It has long troubled me that, unlike
the situation with military personnel
killed in the line of duty, the sacrifces
of Foreign Service personnel are pub-
licly overlooked after the initial news
reports. For those who might wonder
why a memorial plaque is justifed sim-
ply because U.S. government employees
are serving overseas at the time of their
deaths, my husband Larry’s murder is a
case in point.
Even in those countries where we are
not hated, our local employees some-
times can’t tell their families about the
source of their income for fear of retali-
ation. Anyone working for the United
States may be targeted by extremists in
any country, just because we’re Ameri-
can.
No amount of security, training or
lifestyle adjustment can entirely guaran-
tee that this won’t happen. Yet Foreign
Service personnel continue to make the
decision to serve their country, despite
the risks.
Virginia Foley
Guerneville, Calif.
Diversity Management
Tank you for the May issue of
Te
Foreign Service Journal
, which high-
lighted diversity issues in the Foreign
Service. Te Diversity Man-
agement and Outreach Sec-
tion of the State Department’s
Ofce of Civil Rights was
pleased to see several articles
by members of employee afn-
ity groups, as well as the other
thoughtful articles in that issue.
Te Diversity Management and Out-
reach Section contributes to the State
Department’s mission in a number
of ways. Our commemorative events
recognize the contributions of a wide
array of individuals and groups, and are
often organized in cooperation with the
department’s employee afnity groups.
Tese events have featured such distin-
guished speakers as Gwen Ifll, Donna
Brazile, Debra Lee, Cokie Roberts and
Dolores Huerta.
In addition to managing the spe-
cial emphasis programs and providing
structure for and liaising with employee
afnity groups, DMO prepares a variety
of reports for Congress, the White
House, the Equal Employment Oppor-
tunity Commission and other institu-
tions. It also conducts quantitative and
qualitative work-force analysis.
Our goal is to eradicate barriers to
equal employment opportunity at State.
As part of that mission, DMO deter-
mines whether the department is meet-
ing its diversity goals, and identifes
impediments that still exist for under-
represented segments of the population
at all levels. DMO also coordinates the
annual Equal Employment Opportunity
award given each year by the director
general.
We welcome ideas and suggestions.
Please contact us at
Diversity@state.gov.
John M. Robinson
Chief Diversity Ofcer and Director,
Ofce of Civil Rights
Washington, D.C.
The Complexity of
Professional Ethics
Congratulations to the
editors and contributors
who put together your July-
August issue. Te authors
all did a great job of address-
ing professional ethics, a most timely
and relevant subject, in a fair-minded,
judicious and courageous manner.
While I enjoyed Robert William
Dry’s take on “Loyalty: Te Hallmark
of the Professional Diplomat,” I fnd
myself dissenting from him (and
Sir Peter Marshall) in my reading of
Shakespeare. Considering the cases of
not-for-proft spies for the Soviets, such
as the Rosenbergs, I, too, refected upon
Polonius’ advice to his son in “Hamlet”
as I joined the military and, later, the
Foreign Service.
Yes, be true to yourself, but do not
put your idiosyncratic and perhaps
self-deluded sense of right above sworn
obligations and the law. Dissent and
resignation are every Foreign Service
member’s right, but frst ask yourself
this: “Am I putting others at risk? Could
I be mistaken?” Tat’s my advice for
diplomats, leakers and would-be sui-
cide bombers alike.
Tat said, rulers, like citizens,
must follow the law—and be seen to
do so. Domestic surveillance needs to
be reined in, security classifcations
revisited, and selective leaks replaced
by more transparency. I’m glad the
leadership of the American Foreign
Service Association is engaged on these
complex issues.
As for the bad press that has dogged
diplomacy, which retired Ambassador
Edward Marks discusses in his lead
article, “Ethics for the Professional
Diplomat,” the eforts he and his team
have made to rectify that situation