The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MAY 2024 93 that facilitate a later move. Much of that advice can be adapted to later stages in an academic career. Discussing the international relations “ecosystem,” the authors—shockingly—make clear that life is bigger than the Foreign Service! They differentiate among the Foreign Service, the Civil Service, political appointments, and other “excepted services,” contractors, fellows, and so on. They also note that State is not the only foreign policy game in town, pointing out how agencies like Commerce, Agriculture, Treasury, Homeland Security, and the intelligence community all have foreign policy equities. Nor is foreign policy limited to the executive branch. It is also done in Congress (by both individual members and committees, each with different kinds of staffs). Beyond formal government, there are also the think-tank and lobby worlds, from which many original ideas and alternatives in foreign policy can emerge. Finally, in an increasingly globalized world, the private sector (including foundations) also needs experts in all manner of countries, regions, and issues. The authors not only describe the foreign policy elephant to the blind scholar but also offer practical advice on how to break into and succeed in that world. Their counsel includes such things as how to translate abstruse academic skills into terms like “negotiated,” “analyzed,” “persuaded,” and “solved” that the policy community understands and values, as well as discussion of networks, interpersonal skills, communications styles, and where to look for jobs. They also tender actionable advice on how to make a difference when starting out on the job in the foreign policy world. They speak to the challenges of work/ life balance—both in terms of how the problem differs from that in the academy and its varying shape at different stages in a foreign policy career. And they even offer ideas about how to translate international experience back into academic terms for those who inexplicably decide to cross back over the pass from foreign policy Shangri-La. n John M. Grondelski, a Foreign Service officer, is currently a Pearson Fellow in the office of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas).