The Foreign Service Journal, April 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | APRIL 2024 59 Ihad not planned on retiring in November 2017. My husband (a British diplomat) and I had discussed his following me on a diplomatic mission or my following him. We met in Baghdad in 2009 and married in 2015. I thought I would make it to 65, but circumstances beyond our control caused us to change our plans. After I left Ethiopia in July 2016, I moved to Washington, D.C., as principal deputy assistant secretary (PDAS) in the Bureau of Economics and Business Conflict Stabilization Consultant BY PATRICIA HASLACH A airs, a position I thought I would continue to occupy through the next administration. When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016 and Rex Tillerson was appointed Secretary of State, I knew I had limited time before a political appointee was con rmed as assistant secretary and I was out the door, with prospects of another senior position unlikely. I committed to stay a short period to help guide the bureau through the transition and attempts to downsize the State Department. Meanwhile, my husband was posted as U.K. ambassador to Iraq. It is important to recall what the situation was like in the department in the rst year of the Trump administration. It was chaotic and scary, with our loyalty, professionalism, and patriotism being questioned, and it soon became untenable with senior o cers being let go. Implementing the administration’s trade policy (threats of the U.S. pulling out of the North American Free Trade Agreement and implementing other protectionist trade measures) became impossible for me. e last straw was when I accompanied the former deputy assistant secretary to a meeting on steel at the White House and witnessed rsthand the president’s determination to move forward on steel tari s on our allies.