The Foreign Service Journal, March 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2021 9 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Foreign Service Suggestion Box BY SHAWN DORMAN I n December we asked for recommendations from the field on how the Foreign Service can best serve and advance America’s foreign policy interests going forward. We were quite thrilled by the outpouring of input. More than 75 members of the Foreign Service community submitted their ideas, many of which point to recurring themes captured in this illustrated suggestion box. Some of these ideas have already been picked up by the administration and acted on, which is a great sign of synergy and potential for renewal and reform of the Foreign Service. Many are not new—e.g., stop giving ambassador posts to political donors (come on, now!)—but could gain traction in the coming months. There is room for hope that the foreign affairs agencies will regain a leadership role in the interagency after years of being sidelined, and that U.S. diplomats will play the primary role in bilateral and multilateral relations. The Foreign Service is ready to work with the new team and excited to revitalize U.S. diplomatic con- nections worldwide. Ambassador (ret.) Ron Neumann and Greg Starr lead the focus section with a Shawn Dorman is the editor of The Foreign Service Journal. challenge to the new administration to change the risk paradigm for diplomacy. They argue that to effectively engage, diplomats must manage and mitigate risk rather than try to eliminate and avoid it altogether. Keith Mines, a recently retired FSO now at the U.S. Institute of Peace, writes on “State’s Influence on Foreign Policy, ” offering ideas for boosting diplomats’ leadership in the interagency. In a look at “Re-engaging the World” through public diplomacy, Sherry Muel- ler and Joel Fischman propose steps to rebuild U.S. credibility. Ambassador (ret.) Dennis Jett, in Speaking Out, reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun by recalling a 2001 FSJ look at how to reform the For- eign Service, but offers insight into how this time could be different. In this month’s Feature, “The Legacy of Jackie Robinson,” FSO Ronald Hawkins Jr. tells the story of baseball diplomacy in Romania and Uganda. In FS Heritage, retired FSO Stephen Muller brings us the story of John and Charles Francis, a uniqu e father and son who served as ambassadors, one generation apart, in the same two countries. Retired FSO William Hill recounts working with Russia to remove military weaponry fromMoldova 20 years ago. For the Local Lens, FS fam- ily member Lee-Alison Sibley captures a beautiful image fromMyanmar. We convinced former FSJ Editorial Board Chair, and current U.S. Coordina- tor for the Arctic Region, Jim DeHart to submit some of his favorite photos from a day off in Greenland, for another edition of Off-Road with the Foreign Service. This occasional feature offers a chance to spotlight some of the great adventures our members have while living in and traveling to the far corners of the earth. We are seeking more of these submis- sions, so please send in photos (with narration) of your latest foray off the beaten path. As always, we’re thankful for your engaged readership, and we’ll look for- ward to your responses and involvement in keeping the conversation going about the future of the Foreign Service. n ILLUSTRATIONBYCHRISTINEFULLER