The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MAY 2024 47 2008 2010 2007 AFSA establishes Legal Defense Fund. AFSA renovates its headquarters, the first time in 40 years. 2009 AFSA win: Overseas comparability pay (OCP) adjusts base pay of FS members serving abroad by two-thirds of locality-pay adjustment for federal employees in Washington, D.C. AFSA establishes Foreign Service Books imprint. Chief of Mission Authority: A Powerful but Underused Tool Without meaningful direction by a higher authority in the field, U.S. foreign policy risks being hamstrung at best, and counterproductive at worst. —Edward Peck, FSO ambassador (ret.), December 2007 FSJ. Iraq PRTs: Pins on a Map Duty at Iraq PRTs [provincial reconstruction teams] represents a new reality for the Foreign Service. Diplomats are accustomed to danger and hardship, but they are not soldiers. So it is not an unreasonable question to ask what role (if any) the Foreign Service should have in active war zones. The PRTs are the administration’s answer to that question. —Shawn Dorman, former FSO and associate editor, March 2007 FSJ. The Total Candidate The Foreign Service intake process has been revamped. … The most significant changes are the adoption of a substantially more demanding registration procedure and the introduction of a Qualifications Evaluation Panel. Following the written exam, the panel reviews the complete file of each applicant who passes, taking the measure of what is now called the “Total Candidate.” —Shawn Dorman, June 2008 FSJ. The “Reform” of Foreign Service Reform The constant need to redefine the diplomatic mission and organize accordingly continues to drive a debate that began in the late 1940s. ... About every decade a major reform has been proposed and implemented. Between those initiatives, a plethora of committees, commissions and study groups have kept the State Department and the other foreign affairs agencies under scrutiny, with the threat of further change ever present. … The Foreign Service and State Department face the same imperative: adapt or disappear. The reality of the continuing need for reform is directly linked to the rapidly changing world of the 20th and 21st centuries. —Thomas D. Boyatt, FSO ambassador (ret.), May 2010 FSJ. AFSA’s most successful outreach program is an old-fashioned one: a book, Inside a U.S. Embassy. … The book’s critical and financial success allowed AFSA in 2009 to launch its own publishing imprint, Foreign Service Books. —Harry Kopp, The Voice of the Foreign Service (2024).