The Foreign Service Journal - September 2014 - page 37

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
|
SEPTEMBER 2014
37
Honesty and candor have been
the watchwords of this three-time
AFSA dissent award winner’s
diplomatic career.
BY KENNETH M . QU I NN
INTEGRITY ANDOPENNESS:
Requirements
for anEffective
ForeignService
Kenneth M. Quinn, the only three-time winner of an AFSA dissent
award, spent 32 years in the Foreign Service and served as ambassador
to Cambodia from 1996 to 1999. He has been president of the World
Food Prize Foundation since 2000.
FOCUS
AFSA HONORS DISSENT AND PERFORMANCE
F
rom the very start of my 32-year Foreign
Service career, through one of my final
actions as chief of mission in Phnom
Penh, constructive dissent has been
integral to most positions I have held
and decisions I had to make. While my
willingness to challenge U.S. policy
on issues ranging from genocide and
terrorism to normalizing relations with
Vietnam may have cost me a job or two along the way, the
respect of my fellow officers and the three awards for con-
structive dissent AFSA has conferred on me motivated me to
keep speaking up.
My first experience as a dissenter occurred in 1968. After
completing the A-100 course, I had moved on to the Vietnam
Training Center to prepare for my first assignment in that
wartorn country. This was shortly after the Tet Offensive,
which had claimed the lives of a number of Foreign Service
officers, and amid growing doubt that our goals in Vietnam
were “worth dying for.” In fact, several FSOs who had served
there found the assignment so morally confounding that they
either resigned or asked for reassignment just a few months
after arriving “in country,” effectively ending their careers.
1...,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36 38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,...88
Powered by FlippingBook