The Foreign Service Journal - November 2017

68 NOVEMBER 2017 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL AFSA NEWS AFSA Book Notes: Career Diplomacy AFSA President Ambassador Barbara Stephenson introduces former Foreign Service Officer Harry W. Kopp and retired FSO John K. Naland at the Book Notes event on Sept. 14. AFSA/GEMMADVORAK On Sept. 14, AFSA held the 26th event in its popular Book Notes series, hosting a talk by former FSO Harry W. Kopp and current AFSA Retiree Vice President John K. Naland about the newly released third edition of their book, Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service (Georgetown Univer- sity Press, 2017). Career Diplomacy is billed as “an insider’s guide to the Foreign Service as an institution, a profession and a career.” During their presentation, Mr. Kopp and Mr. Naland delved into those three different ways of look- ing at the Foreign Service. They also broke down the FS mission into three parts— representation, operations and policy—explaining that they found this way of describing the work of the Foreign Service more use- ful than breaking down the mission according to the five cones of service. Harry Kopp quoted Ambassador (ret.) Carey Cavanaugh, who reviewed the book for the September Foreign Service Journal , say- ing that this is both the best and the worst time to have published a new edition Mr. Kopp noted that the book was completed before President Donald Trump came to office, so does not take into account the chal- lenges facing the Foreign Service now. However, it does offer commen- tary on many similar chal- lenges faced by the Foreign Ser- vice during its history, includ- ing the Nixon presidency, the McCarthy era and the hiring freezes under President Bill Clinton. The authors discussed the “different lifestyle” required of mem- bers of the Foreign Service, touching on the up-or-out system of promotion, as well as the pressures the job puts on family members. They also discussed the current reduction in hiring and its possible future con- sequences. In 2010, they said, more than 700 new officers were hired, whereas this year that number will be closer to 100, leading to future management issues. “Mark your calendars,” Mr. Naland advised, predicting that five to six years from now there will be Govern- ment Accountability Office reports citing inadequate supervision, because the lack of hires now means there will be fewer middle- and higher- level FS personnel then. At a Q&A session fol- lowing the talk, questions to the authors on how they would manage a department wide reorganization led to a discussion of problems with State’s information technol- ogy program, the top-heavy nature of the organization, the differences in training for diplomats compared to military officers, the prob- lems with special envoys and the difficulties that arise when senior leaders are political appointees rather than career Foreign Service officers. A video of the event is available on the AFSA web- site, Q