The Foreign Service Journal, April 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | APRIL 2020 75 BY M I CHAE L F E LDMAN W hile getting ready to retire from the Foreign Service, I came to realize that I wanted to make my long-term avocation—theater and the arts—into my vocation while continuing my policy work as a supporting element. The “profit center” part of my post– Foreign Service work involves providing strategic partnership and cultural diplo- macy advice to local arts organizations and foreign cultural institutions through my company Transitions International. The “cost center” part of my post-FS work—what is euphemistically termed a passion project—is dedicated to advanc- ing policy through theater. In 2018 I co-founded the Theater and Policy Salon, which works with D.C.-area theaters to curate policy conversations around several plays during a full theater season. Amplifying Life after the Foreign Service the messages coming from the stage, we seek to inspire individual action on real-world issues by pinpointing prag- matic, nonpartisan policy responses. The salon pairs socially conscious plays with policy conversations with experts and practitioners. In addition, I develop policy-related programming as part of Mosaic Theater Company’s Public Pro- gramming Committee. The Theater and Policy Salon The author moderates a salon discussion of “People Respect Me Now,” directed by Paula Stenström Öhman, at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. VISUALARTISTTHOMGOERTEL RETIREMENT SUPPLEMENT