The Foreign Service Journal

November 2014

The Foreign Service Journal covers foreign affairs from an insider's perspective, providing thought-provoking articles on international issues, the practice of diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service. Including the AFSA News section, The Journal is published monthly (January-February and July-August issues combined) by the American Foreign Service Association.

This month’s issue features an interview with outgoing Deputy Secretary of State – and career Foreign Service Officer -- William J. Burns on the eve of his retirement. Burns discusses a number of ongoing foreign policy challenges as well as the future of the Foreign Service. Elsewhere in this issue, retired Ambassador James Goodby takes a close look at Russian President Vladimir Putin and his policies, posing the question of what the appropriate response from the West should be.

The issue’s focus is on Foreign Service authors. The annual feature In Their Own Write presents a roundup of more than 60 books written by members of the Foreign Service community, with topics ranging from policy and history to self-help and cooking.

We pay our respects to Career Ambassador and civil rights pioneer Terence Todman for his extraordinary career in the Foreign Service. We also we learn about a Civil War-era gadfly, general and stunningly inappropriate politically appointed Ambassador. Retired Ambassador Edward Peck recounts a memorable drive through Algeria as a young diplomat in the 1960s, and AFSA President Bob Silverman reflects on the various personnel systems at the Department of State.

We always welcome short, focused letters about FSJ content; please send them to