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8

SEPTEMBER 2015

|

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

FS Members Making a Difference

BY SHAWN DORMAN

S

Shawn Dorman is the editor of

The Foreign Service Journal.

air quality readings fromU.S. equipment

monitoring pollution in New Delhi, Mum-

bai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad. His

article,

“Clearing the Air in New Delhi

,”

illustrates how greater transparency,

while initially viewed as potentially harm-

ful for U.S.-India relations, helped lead

to greater cooperation on air pollution

between the two governments.

Profiles of Shaw and Kotis can be

found in the

AFSA News

section, along

with profiles of the other recipients:

FSOThomas Duffy (Herter Award for

Constructive Dissent by a senior-level

FSO), FSS Jeffrey Bing (Harris Award for

Constructive Dissent by an FS special-

ist), Office Management Specialist Julia

Harrison (Delavan Award for an FS OMS),

Community Liaison Officer Alexei Trofim

(Guess Award for a CLO) and Mary Beth

Bechtel (Bohlen Award for an FS family

member).

This year marks the establishment of

a new award, the Mark Palmer Award for the Advancement of Democracy. FSO

Andrew Young was selected for the first

Palmer Award for his democracy-promo-

tion work in Mali, where he is currently

the deputy chief of mission, and earlier

work on Capitol Hill and in Burma.

Two awards that had been dormant

were revived in 2015. USAID FSO Charlee

Doomwas selected for the AFSA Post

Representative of the Year Award for her

work at Embassy Nairobi. Longtime AFSA

Treasurer Ambassador (ret.) Andrew

Winter received the Award for Lifetime

Contributions to AFSA.

This month also marks the 35th

anniversary of the passage of the Foreign

Service Act of 1980. The act aimed to fur-

ther unify and professionalize the Foreign

Service, and discussion of and questions

about its implementation—or undermin-

ing—are ongoing today.

In 1982, one year after the act became

law, the

FSJ

asked for an assessment on

how implementation was going—from

Congress, State management and the

AFSA Governing Board. Those responses

offer three different relevant perspec-

tives. We share them in this issue, with

an introduction from former FSO Harry

Kopp. (Kopp is the author of the recently

released AFSA history, The Voice of the Foreign Service. )

The 1980 act has been in force longer

than either of its predecessors, the acts

of 1924 and 1946. We hope a look back

at the law’s original goals, and the early

challenges of its implementation, might

inform discussion today.

In this month’s Speaking Out, FSO

William Bent offers a critique of the State Department’s use of the 360-degree review and suggests adjustments. This month’s FS Know-How by Anna Sparks is a guide for spouses on going back to work

.

In her inaugural President’s Views col- umn, Ambassador Barbara Stephenson

lays out her vision for the way ahead for

AFSA, and describes the new Governing

Board’s first act—taking an oath of ser-

vice, pledging to represent the members

of the U.S. Foreign Service in accordance

with the Foreign Service Act of 1980 and

to work to strengthen the Foreign Service.

Members of the new Governing Board

are welcomed and introduced in AFSA

News.

n

eptember is the month when

The Foreign Service Journal

celebrates and honors those

in the Foreign Service com-

munity who make a difference—through

constructive dissent, by standing up for

what they believe is right, and through

outstanding performance and lifetime

contributions to diplomacy.

First we turn to the 2015 recipient of

the Lifetime Contributions to American

Diplomacy Award, Ambassador William

Harrop. In his interview with Associate

Editor Maria Livingston, “A Lifetime of Public Service,” Amb. Harrop reflects

on his Foreign Service career and raises

concerns about the state of the Foreign

Service today, calling for stronger invest-

ment in professional development.

Then we hear from this year’s dissent

award recipients. The dissent awards are

unique in the U.S. government and, at

their best, give inspiration to others to

not just go along to get along. In “Decon- structing Dissent,” Harriman dissent

award recipient and first-tour officer

Amelia Shaw offers a frank assessment of

what dissent means to her in the Foreign

Service context and shares a how-to on

dissenting within the system. She urges

her colleagues to speak up when some-

thing just doesn’t seem right.

Next, Rivkin dissent award recipi-

ent Samuel Kotis

describes his ulti-

mately successful

efforts to convince the

U.S. mission in India

to share and publicize