THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
of where matters stand and where they
are headed. It is welcome and useful.
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Congratulations to Shawn Dorman
for her wonderful interview with DavidHolbrooke (“A Love Letter to Diplo- macy,” November FSJ ).
As Dick Holbrooke’s special assistant
and the first State Department officer
he hired when he became assistant
secretary in 1977, I had the opportunity
to watch David and Anthony skateboard
down the long “2 Corridor” on the sixth
floor on Saturday mornings, while Dick
was at work at his desk in the East Asia
and Pacific Bureau’s front office.
Even though he was a political appoin-
tee as assistant secretary in 1977, Dick
was still a bit of a rebel FSO at heart. He
gave me cover and advice when I formed
the Group of 46 and conspired over lunch
in the EAP conference room, compos-
ing the Statement of Concerns (which
eventually garnered more than 500 FS
signatures) that I then presented to Secre-
tary Cyrus Vance in 1978, after demand-
ing a meeting with him. George Moose,
Barbara Bodine and Alan Romberg joined
me in outlining the critical
issues our group of mid-level
officers saw undermining the
career Foreign Service.
This meeting led to a
process that resulted in pas-
sage of the Foreign Service
Act of 1980. Our work was
carried forward by Ken Blakely,
who replaced me as Dick’s
special assistant and later
became president of AFSA. Not many
people know that the enactment of that
landmark legislation began in and was
pressed forward from Dick Holbrooke’s
office, with his encouragement.
I think Dick was supportive of our
rebellion against the Seventh Floor
because he saw that we were motivated
by the same principle that energized
him—a commitment to excellence.
One of the more interesting trans-
formations of Richard Holbrooke was
his focus on the critical importance of
agriculture to his mission in Afghanistan.
In fact, one of the very last emails Dick
ever sent was a message to me on Dec.
9, 2010, the night before he collapsed,
expressing his appreciation for my hav-
ing brought the agriculture ministers
from Afghanistan and Pakistan together
at the World Food Prize in Des Moines a
few months earlier.
David Holbrooke did a marvelous job
of capturing his dad.
Kenneth M. Quinn
President, The World Food Prize
Des Moines, Iowa
Much More than Just “One
Woman” [Back Story]
I congratulate Ambassador William
C. Harrop on receiving this year’s AFSA
Lifetime Contributions to American
Diplomacy Award. However, I was struck
by one statement in his
FSJinterview (September, p. 25). Discussing AFSA
early 1970s decision to seek
union status, he said: “One
woman in particular, a
former FSO, wanted AFGE
[the American Federation
of Government Employees]
to be the union represent-
ing FSOs. … I actually knew
her slightly; she’d been in Kinshasa just
before I arrived in Congo.”Take AFSA With You! Change your address online, visit us at www.afsa.org/ address Or Send changes to: AFSAMembership Department 2101 E Street NW Washington, DC 20037 Moving?