The Foreign Service Journal, June 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JUNE 2020 9 LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Human Rights and Diplomacy BY SHAWN DORMAN A s we get ready to release the June FSJ , with a focus on human rights and diplomacy, the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Many U.S. states are moving to “reopen,” whether or not the conditions for doing so safely (testing, tracing, isolation) are in place. The FSJ Editorial Board and staff have changed the way we operate. We are working and meeting remotely, which is going well. Due to the “minimize” order from the Diplomatic Pouch and Mail Office, we are not mailing hard copies of the Journal to overseas and pouch addresses. But we are sharing the digital versions and are happy to hold hard copies for any over- seas subscribers who request them. Our mission remains the same: to bring you content that is relevant and use- ful. We will continue to highlight issues of critical importance to the Foreign Service, U.S. diplomacy and world affairs. In this month’s focus on human rights, three experts present their views on the state of human rights in foreign policy and the current debate about redefin- ing the scope of official human rights strategy. Stephen J. Rapp sets the scene with responses to wide-ranging questions about the state of the effort to establish human rights protec- tions around the world. Shawn Dorman is the editor of The Foreign Service Journal. Seth D. Kaplan, in “Reclaiming Human Rights Leadership in a Mul- tipolar World,” suggests that growing pushback from many parts of the world against a “Western” human rights agenda points to the need to rethink the U.S. approach. In contrast, Harold Hongju Koh argues for strong U.S. global leadership in promoting and defending universal human rights based on our founding principles and values. In his Speaking Out column, Andrew R. Moore offers “Lessons from Silicon Valley” following a three-year “posting” there. And in FS Heritage, “Partners in the Service,” Molly M. Wood explores t he fascinating history of FS wives in action in the early 20th century. Laura M. Fabrycky shares her journey to connecting to the rich Berlin history of Dietrich Bonhoeffer in “Engaging Our Host Country’s History,” an extended Reflection. The Education Supplement contains two articles you’ll want to share with the students in your life: Francesca Huemer Kelly explains how to write all of your college application essays over the sum- mer, and Rebecca Grappo shares news on how to apply to and attend college during the pandemic. You’ll also find updates on the Foreign Service response to the pandemic—in particular, the repatriation efforts—in Talking Points and in the Feature, “Song for Unsung Heroes: Getting #Americans- Home from Ecuador,” by Amelia Shaw. In the AFSA President’s Views column, Eric Rubin shares his take on COVID-19 and the path forward for diplomacy, calling for strategic thinking and learning from the past. Looking ahead, we have shifted our July-August focus to the FS response to the pandemic, and reached out widely to FS members and other experts to gather vari- ous views and angles on this challenge. For instance, we had a fascinating conversation with Jeremy Konyndyk, who led the U.S. government’s response to the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak as head of USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. A bit of his advice worth sharing ahead of July: “To defeat this, it takes a global effort. …We need to be learning the les- sons from the rest of the world. …There’s a playbook here, and it’s an at-scale appli- cation of basic public health practices using modern tools. … A pandemic does not have a passport; it does not respect borders. We will not end it domestically unless we end it at a global level.” The United States, unfortunately, has not taken a global leadership role that the world would expect during a time of crisis, and questions about the future abound. What will be the “new normal,” and what is the path ahead for the U.S. Foreign Service in a changed world? What happens when you cannot go “the last three feet” to engage face-to- face? What are the new tools for diplo- macy, and how can the role of diplo- mats as conveners be advanced? Please share your perspectives through letters and article submissions (to ). Stay well, and keep in touch. n