The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MAY 2024 43 1985 1989 1985 New bylaws provide for an AFSA vice president to represent each constituency. Black Foreign Service employees bring an antidiscrimination suit against the Department of State. 1986 Foreign affairs budgets enter period of austerity that will last until 2001. 1987 About 130 State Department senior positions are cut. Thirteen consulates close. 1989 Court decisions favor plaintiffs in women’s class action suit filed in 1976. AFSA establishes program of conferences with Senior Foreign Service officers to attract international businesses as paying “international associates.” The FSJ at 65: Not Just a Weather Vane The Journal is not only a vehicle of thought with respect to U.S. foreign relations, and, more particularly, overseas experience, but a means of expressing professional perspectives. It thus serves invaluably as one of those tender filaments joining Foreign Service officers to one another, to the foreign affairs agencies, and, to some extent, to the American public and its congressional representatives. No longer is it merely a weather vane, recording the direction the wind is blowing. It is now a stimulant, influencing the shape of thinking in the diplomatic establishment. … The Journal can be proud it has had that part in nurturing the spirit of analysis and criticism and freeing the minds of Foreign Service officers from the clichés which were once so pervasive. —Smith Simpson, FSO, “A Foreign Service Filament,” November 1984 FSJ. Family Member Employment The Foreign Service has faced many challenges in its history: Terrorism, politicization, and budgetary restraints have all taken their toll. For the most part, however, the Service has simply assumed these burdens and soldiered on. But the collision between the mobile Foreign Service and the modern two-career family threatens to have a much more personal and widespread effect. ... For those Foreign Service couples who attempt to balance the requirements of worldwide availability with those of a non-portable career, the future will continue to bring hard choices. —From the introduction to a focus on working spouses, March 1985 FSJ. Reaching Out to Talented Minorities I think the weaknesses of the Foreign Service are that we haven’t been able to reach out and get enough talented minorities—blacks in particular—into strong, up-and-coming top positions, and to have them trained—and experienced—so that they should be there. There are some outstanding individuals, but not enough. And the same is true with women, although I think that is remedying itself very rapidly and is not as much of a problem as it was. —Secretary of State George P. Shultz, in a farewell interview with the FSJ, March 1989.