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Questions for the

Foreign Service


e [the association] have a very

genuine role to fill in seeking

to promote our professional compe-

tence as individuals and as a Service,

and our welfare. The


, I think,

carries a very important role, particu-

larly in promoting our professional




has moved from being

a house organ … in the direction of an

organ of opinion in which exchanges

of views can be aired. I think there is

a real role for the


to fulfill—a

role not only of exhortation but a role

of debate. … I would look to the



moving more and more toward

a professional organ of debate as

between professionals. …

Going back to our role as an


there is a real

role for active


of the asso-

ciation to fill in


and developing

our profes-

sional competence so that we can

better serve the future and meet the

challenges that face us.

Those challenges are going to be

very, very great indeed, and all of you

who have the opportunity be associ-

ated with meeting them are going to

have a very satisfying time.

—Ambassador U. Alexis Johnson

speaking to AFSAOct. 27, 1966, on

passing on the AFSA presidency,

excerpted from the

December 1966



50 Years Ago

are angry that a cartoon figure has been

selected to represent women’s issues.

Anne Marie Goetz, a professor of

global affairs at New York University and

a former adviser on peace and security

issues to the agency U.N. Women, said

that election of the character as a repre-

sentative for women is “frivolous, it’s fatu-

ous and it reduces an extremely serious

human rights problem experienced by

half of the world to a cartoon.”

Maher Nasser, the U.N. official who

brokered the appointment, says the

U.N. was aware of concerns about the

appropriateness of Wonder Woman as

a representative for women and girls,

particularly with regard to her iconic but

skimpy costume.

But Mr. Nasser defended the deci-

sion, saying, “The focus [of the U.N.] was

on her feminist background, being the

first female superhero in a world of male

superheroes, and that basically she always

fought for fairness, justice and peace.”

The U.N. is not the first to use a

cartoon character as an ambassador. In

2008, Japanese Foreign Minister Masa-

hiko Komura commissioned an anime cat named Doraemon as an “anime

ambassador” with a mission to deepen

people’s understanding of Japan. The

character had films screened at Japanese

diplomatic missions in China, Singapore,

France and Spain.


—Gemma Dvorak, Associate Editor