THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
FSOs. At more than one embassy, people
assumed I was in the Foreign Service, for
why else would I be there? That view is
harmful to comity between the services,
and it runs counter to the training we’ve
all had that warns against profiling peers
in other countries.
While some Foreign Affairs Day
speakers did acknowledge the role of
the Civil Service in the formulation
and implementation of foreign policy,
especially in embassy country teams,
the State Civil Service contingent was
depicted mainly as a side note. Instead,
the emphasis was on Foreign Service
officers and chiefs of mission as the face
of U.S. diplomacy, an image that has
been stale for a couple of decades.
Please understand that I am not
being critical of the Foreign Service,
which continues to be vital to U.S. diplo-
macy. However, it is long past time for
us to treat the Civil Service and Foreign
Service as equal partners. Not only does
that approach reflect reality, but it will
freshen our policy development and the
management of programs.
With that in mind, here are some spe-
cific institutional changes State should
• Allow FAOs the opportunity to
convert directly to the Foreign Service at
• Give FAOs greater access to foreign
postings, especially hardship posts, and
consider them for ambassadorships.
• Develop an agenda for the 2016
Foreign Affairs Day that constructively
explores how the two services can more
effectively evolve together.
• Treat Foreign Service and Civil
Service professionals as equal partners,
and include the latter in the National
Museum of American Diplomacy.
It’s only fair.
It is long past time for us to treat the
Civil Service and Foreign Service as