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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

SEPTEMBER 2015

37

A

s members of the Foreign Service,

we face an inherent tension between

the obligation to provide our best

analysis and advice in the policy-

making process, and our recogni-

tion that there will be many times in

our careers when we will be asked to

carry out policies and actions with

which we may personally disagree.

Embedded in that tension are endless variations on how,

and to what degree, we should offer a dissenting view, how

far to push that dissent, when to accept “defeat” and—con-

versely—when to push on in the face of objections from those

Samuel Kotis just concluded an assignment as deputy

minister counselor in the economic, environment, science

and technology affairs section in NewDelhi. He is headed

to the U.S. Mission to the International Civil Aviation

Organization inMontreal next. Since joining the Foreign

Service in 1991, he has also served in Jakarta, Singapore, Tunis, Am-

man, Budapest, Baghdad and London. He and his wife, Beth, have two

children. He is the recipient of AFSA’s 2015 WilliamR. Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent by a mid-level FSO.

FOCUS

ON AFSA AWARDS AND DISSENT

Clearing the Air

IN NEWDELHI

How one FSO used constructive

dissent to advance a sensible

approach to air pollution in India.

BY SAMUE L KOT I S