The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MAY 2024 39 1969 1968 AFSA publishes “Toward a Modern Diplomacy,” a 185-page manifesto based on the report of Committee on Career Principles. It calls for a unified Foreign Service operating in State, USIA, USAID, and the Commerce and Labor Departments under an independent director general. 1970 Women’s Action Organization is formed to address treatment of women in foreign affairs agencies. President John F. Kennedy: Not an Easy Career This is not an easy career, to be a Foreign Service officer. It is not an easy life. The Foreign Service and the White House are bound to be in the center of every great controversy involving the security of the United States, and there is nothing you can do about it. … Personally, I think the place to be is in the kitchen, and I am sure the Foreign Service officers of the United States feel the same way. —From JFK’s May 31 talk at the American Foreign Service Association, July 1962 FSJ. Diplomats’ Unique Value You may wonder whether under modern conditions an Embassy has any influence on policy. The answer is decidedly affirmative. Ultimate decisions of policy must of course be made in Washington. However, we in the field are uniquely qualified to judge the viability of policy alternatives and to formulate a strategy adapted to the political, economic, and psychological environment in which we work. —FSO Lincoln Gordon, December 1965 FSJ. FSJ’s 50th: Let’s Have More “Tendentious Talk”! The Journal was allowed to be born fifty years ago only on the condition that it exclude “tendentious talk” from its contents. … We trust this issue then, like the Association and the profession it represents, demonstrates progress away from these limited beginnings. Some of our contributors offer critical views, in historical perspective, of American diplomacy, its practitioners and its organization. … Historic reminiscence and reflection, while mirroring the past, also have their lesson for the future. We hopefully predict that the pages of the Journal during the coming years will contain more “tendentious talk” than in the past fifty. Such expressions will be the reflection of a healthy but responsible ferment in the foreign affairs community. —FSJ Editorial, “The Challenge of the Next Fifty Years,” March 1969 FSJ. Margaret Mead: On the Woman Diplomat On the abilities of women as negotiators, Dr. Mead feels that here women have a great deal to offer. “Women get through ticklish situations much faster than men, on the whole.” She added the caveat that the ratio of women to men in negotiating groups should be kept low. “One or two women in a group of men are often exceedingly helpful,” but too many women make the “men feel smothered.” —From an interview by FSO John M. Cates Jr., February 1969 FSJ. 1967 AFSA buys building at 2101 E Street NW in Washington, D.C., for its headquarters. AFSA elects reformist “Young Turks,” led by Lannon Walker and Charlie Bray, to lead the association. AFSA sets up awards for constructive dissent.