The Foreign Service Journal, May 2019

64 MAY 2019 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL STAY INFORMED. STAY CONNECTED. Teaching International Affairs and the Art of Diplomacy: A Viable “Next Stage” for You? AFSA welcomed 70 active- duty and retired members to its headquarters on March 26 for a panel on what it’s like to teach international affairs at the university level. This was the first in AFSA’s new “Next Stage” series of programs geared to exploring post-Foreign Service career options and the skills you need to take advantage of them. Expert speakers were Ambassador (ret.) Larry Palmer, ambassador in resi- dence at Howard University; Ambassador Mark Storella, senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy; and Jillian Burns, FSO (ret.) and adjunct professor at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. The panelists empha- sized that planning a course is labor intensive and takes a lot of time. Co-teaching or joining a course already developed can be a good place to start. They agreed that stu- dents often don’t understand the complexity of the U.S. interagency policy formula- tion process, and that the contex- tual knowledge that Foreign Service profes- sionals may take for granted is often missing and needs to be adequately addressed. Turning to the unique knowledge set that diplo- matic practitioners bring, panelists focused on the art of negotiation—academics generally have little experi- Amb. Storella and Amb. Palmer answer audience questions. AFSA/DONNAGORMAN ence there. They under- scored that teaching and being part of an academic community is richly reward- ing—and fun—and neatly leverages one’s Foreign Service experience. All three panelists said that they find their students to be highly engaged and interested in the subject, and especially interested in the real-world, hands-on elements of diplo- macy that only an experi- enced diplomat can bring to the classroom. Consistent with the Next Stage series’ focus on prac- tical advice, the panelists offered ideas on how to find and apply for university-level teaching positions. A video of the event is available at www.afsa. org/video. Stay tuned for announcements on upcom- ing Next Stage programs, and contact Dolores Brown ( ), AFSA’s retirement benefits coun- selor, with suggestions and feedback. n Jillian Burns answers a question from the moderator. AFSA/DONNAGORMAN