The Foreign Service Journal - December 2015
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December 2015

Volume 92, No. 10




Foreign Service 101 on Capitol Hill / 49 VP Voice State: Challenges and Frustrations of Bidding / 50 VP Voice FAS: Workforce Planning Overdue / 51 Job Search Program Reception / 51 VP Voice USAID: Human Capital and Talent Management / 52 Changes to Danger and Hardship Differentials / 53 AFSA Youth Scholarships / 53 Issue Brief: Update on Meritorious Service Increase Disputes / 54 Reminder: Award Nominations / 55, 57 AFSA Hits the Congressional Caucus Circuit / 56 On the Lighter Side: Vodka, Anyone? / 56 Retirement Planning in Uncertain Times / 57 New AFSA Governing Board Member / 57 What Does the Foreign Service Do? / 58 Lunch with 8th CA-LNA Class / 59 AFSA Governing Board Meeting / 59


President’s Views / 7 Refining Our Message BY BARBARA STEPHENSON Letter from the Editor / 8 Welcoming Visitors, Building Bridges BY SHAWN DORMAN Speaking Out / 19 Proving Public Diplomacy Programs Work BY JAMES RIDER Reflections / 105 Would You Like a Cup of Tea? BY JOSH GLAZEROFF


Letters / / 9 Talking Points / 14 Books / 97 Local Lens / 106


Classifieds / 98 Real Estate / 101 Index to Advertisers / 104

On the Cover:

In September, the International Visitor Leadership Program’s “Womens’ Entre-

preneurship in the Americas (WEAmericas)” initiative brought 17 women from South America to

the United States. After touringWashington, D.C., the group split up to visit different parts of the

country. This group of six—fromMexico, Paraguay, Cuba, Haiti, Brazil and Uruguay—traveled to

Kalamazoo, Michigan. There, hosted by Colleagues International, Inc., a nonprofit community-

based member of Global Ties U.S., the young women explored local government support for

female entrepreneurs, microloans and alternative funding sources, and youth and female leader-

ship development programs. They posed for this photo during a break between appointments.

Photo courtesy of Cultural Vistas.


Soft Power, High Impact / 23 America’s premier exchange program is 75 this year. In this selection of personal experiences, participants offer insight into its unique effectiveness. BY ROBERT Z I MMERMAN Looking to the Future / 36 IVLP’s partners and stakeholders are examining the challenges ahead and exploring ways to renew the program to ensure continuing success. BY J ENN I F ER CL I NTON AND J E L ENA PUTRE


The Usefulness of Cookie-Pushing / 42 Retired Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent Richard C. Longworth discusses his 1977 “Primer for Diplomats,” a concise and still timely survey of the duties of diplomats and the importance of diplomacy. BY CEC I L E SHEA


FAFSA Reform: What Does It Mean for You? / 61 Improvements in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid are slated for the 2017-2018 academic year. BY SHANNON M I ZZ I Options for Educating Foreign Service Kids / 67 For most Foreign Service families, the education of their children is a primary bidding concern. Here is an overview of the many options. BY L EAH WAL LACE Multilingual Matters: How FS Students Can Make the Most of Language-Rich Experiences Abroad / 77 BY MARYBETH HUNTER AND CHR I ST I NE BROWN Schools At A Glance / 80, 82, 84