The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2016
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of where matters stand and where they

are headed. It is welcome and useful.

Edward Peck

Ambassador, retired

Chevy Chase, Maryland

Remembering Holbrooke

[Back Story]

Congratulations to Shawn Dorman

for her wonderful interview with David

Holbrooke (“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

Ambassador, retired

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


interview (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 address Or Send changes to: AFSAMembership Department 2101 E Street NW Washington, DC 20037 Moving?