The Foreign Service Journal - December 2017

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2017 21 active Ebola from West Africa, it was no coincidence that I already knew the mission involved. I also knew the administrator of the mission compound where most of the Ebola treatment in West Africa would take place. As anyone who has served in West Africa will tell you, a lot of health services in the region are delivered by faith-based providers. The State Department, especially MED and personnel at the embassies, did a great job evacuating American Ebola victims from West Africa. I am sure they would have done so without me and regardless of anyone’s faith, but the connections already made on the basis of religious interest proved to be useful when the emergency came. As I approach the end of my Foreign Service career, I can say with appre- ciation that the State Department, although appropriately secular in ori- entation, values the contributions of its religiously diverse workforce. I did not wear my faith on my sleeve in the work- place; never had a Bible on my desk or religious posters on the walls. But I brought a faith-based commitment to this career that has, in my opinion, benefited the department, its mission and our citizens. Committed Muslims, Baha’is, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus and other Christians will have their own stories to share, and should do so. Their stories will help ensure that the State Department con- tinues to understand and welcome the contributions that faith-based people bring to this institution and to our mis- sion abroad. n