The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2021 19 A FSA was delighted to host a conversa- tion on Nov. 19 with the co-authors of a new report from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, “A U.S. Diplomatic Service for the 21st Century.” With 476 people attending on Zoom, AFSA Presi- dent Eric Rubin facilitated the discussion with Ambassadors (ret.) Nicholas Burns, Marc Grossman and Marcie Ries, who presented the 10 recommendations made in the report and then took questions for about 45 minutes. The speak- ers gave credit to Ambassador (ret.) Nancy McEldowney as a big part of the thinking behind the study. She was invited to join the Biden transition before the report was completed. The follow- ing is excerpted from the transcript of the event. Find the entire discussion at THE FUTURE OFTHE FOREIGN SERVICE ADiscussion with Nicholas Burns, Marc Grossman &Marcie Ries PHILFOSTER FOCUS AFSA President Eric Rubin: Welcome. We’re going to have over 400 members joining us, and that’s fantastic. We’re very lucky to have with us, presenting the key conclusions of the report and taking questions from our members, three of our most distin- guished veteran diplomats who have been leading this effort. They are Ambassador Nicholas Burns , the Goodman family professor of the practice of diplomacy and international relations at the Kennedy School at Harvard, a retired Foreign Service offi- cer and former under secretary of State for political affairs, former ambassador to NATO and to Greece, and a real thinker about the Foreign Service. The second is Ambassador Marc Grossman , currently with The Cohen Group in Washington, who also served as under sec- retary of State for political affairs, Director General of the Foreign Service and director of human resources, assistant secretary of State for European affairs and U.S. ambassador to Turkey, as well as our special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Our third co-chair is Ambassador Marcie Ries , a senior fellow