The Foreign Service Journal - December 2015
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hiring decisions. Because it is obviously

impractical to interview the dozens of

bidders on each position, the 360-degree

process is a vital element complement-

ing the officer’s résumé and statement of


In other words, State’s use of 360

references is not about professional

development. It is about matching the

most qualified officers with the positions

where the department needs them.

While I doubt it was his intention, the

only way to implement Mr. Bent’s mis-

guided recommendations would be to

move to directed assignments for every-

one. Surely AFSA does not support such

a process, where officers have little or no

influence over where they are assigned.

Brian T. Neubert


Washington, D.C.

The Wonderful World

of Expositions

Thanks to Matthew Asada for the

great and informative article on “World’s Fairs Today” (October), as well as the

history of State Department involvement

in world expositions.

Like him, I attended a world’s fair

(Vancouver, 1986) in my youth and spent

several days at the 1992 Seville Expo

while in school.

Despite the limited U.S. pavilion, I

thought it was a fantastic forum for a

nation to display itself and imagined

doing that kind of work one day. Sadly,

by the time I joined the Foreign Service,

the U.S. government was no longer

giving much support to such events, as

Mr. Asada notes.

Based now in Paris, I visited this

year’s Milan Expo during my family’s

summer vacation. It was great seeing my

older daughter—about the same age I

was when I first went to one—enjoy and

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