The Foreign Service Journal

June 2015

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.

The June issue explores progress on diversity and inclusion, with a special emphasis on LGBT+ rights in the Foreign Service and across the foreign affairs agencies.

The issue features and in-depth Q&A with the new—and first ever—Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, career Foreign Service Officer Randy Berry. Selim Ariturk, president of GLIFAA (founded in 1992 as Gays and Lesbians in Foreign Affairs Agencies), presents an overview of the progress made by the Foreign Service LGBT community, and outlines the milestones which have yet to be reached. FSO Richmond Blake explains how the United States is folding LGBT considerations into its human rights policy agenda.

FSOs Jennifer Zimdahl Galt and Thao Anh Tran reflect on how robust mentor-mentee relationships can help sustain diversity into the top ranks of the Foreign Service. FSO Lia Miller credits the Pickering and Rangel fellowship programs for having attracted first-rate candidates with diverse backgrounds to our diplomatic ranks, but raises concern about retention. Ambassador Michael Guest speaks out on how the foreign affairs agencies can remain competitive with corporate employers by expanding, rather than backsliding on, their support for unmarried partners of all diplomats. Finally, the issue provides a look at the many affinity groups at the foreign affairs agencies and the important role they play in enhancing diversity and promoting inclusion.

Elsewhere in the issue, AFSA President Bob Silverman recounts examples of Foreign Service leadership, and finally, the June issue contains our semiannual education supplement. This edition examines the insanity of college admissions and the possibilities offered by taking a gap year.

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