The Foreign Service Journal, September 2012

O ver the summer, the AFSA Governing Board welcomed four new members to replace others who have departed. We thank Kimberly Krhounek, Grace Choi, Mary Glantz and LesHickman for their serviceon theboard and wish them the best in their onward assignments, whether abroad or in retire- ment. Two members joined the board at its July meeting: LillianWahl-Tuco and Tim Corso. Ms. Wahl-Tuco is a State Depart- ment mid-level consular officer who has served in Paris, Skopje, and as Iceland/ Denmark desk officer, and is currently the Czech desk officer in EUR/CE. She also serves on the boardof “BalancingAct,” an employee organization which promotes work-life balance issues. Prior to coming toState,Ms.Wahl-Tucoworkedinthenon- profit sector inrefugee repatriationandwith the World Affairs Council. Bureau of Diplomatic Security Special AgentTimCorsocurrentlyservesasthelead investigator for State’s Rewards for Justice Program. He previously served in Rabat, Baghdad and the DSS Washington Field Office. Mr. Corso is a graduate of North CarolinaStateUniversityandVermontLaw School and is an active member of the District of Columbia Bar Association. At the August meeting, the board wel- comed Ted Osius and Alex Copher. Mr. Osiusisapoliticalofficer,mostrecentlyserv- ingasdeputychiefofmissioninJakarta. He joinedthedepartmentin1989. Earlierpost- ings includeNewDelhi, Bangkok,Manila, theVatican, theUnitedNations,Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and the Korea desk in Washington. Alex Copher is an information man- agement officer, most recently serving in Georgetown. He joined thedepartment in 1989 and served for 23 consecutive years overseas in Accra, Asuncion, Almaty, Bogota, Lilongwe, Kathmandu, Rangoon and Yerevan. Mr. Copher served as the AFSA post representative in Georgetown and as a “Hometown Diplomat.” S E P T EMB E R 2 0 1 2 / F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L 57 A F S A N E W S AFSA Board Adds New Members BOOK NOTES The Dissent Papers Revealed BY EVA M.A. MOSS, AFSA STAFF O n July 10, AFSA hosted author Hannah Gurman for an in-depth presentationof her newbook, The Dissent Papers: The Voices of Diplomats in the Cold War and Beyond (Columbia University Press, 2012). The audience comprised current and former Foreign Service employees, journalists, stu- dents and members of the public. Six years in the making, Gurman’s book takes a schol- arlyapproachtoanalyzing the impact of diplomaticwriting, the meaning of dissent and the intersection of the two. Some of the questions that drove her research andwrit- ing were: What is dissent? What personal and institu- tional histories give rise todis- sent? Were dissenters always right? Does dissent make a difference? Toanswerthesequestions, eachchapterofthebookspot- lights individual diplomats and policymakers who con- structivelydissentedagainst a particular facet of U.S. foreign policy. Includedare famousdiplomats, likeGeorge Kennan, Jack Service and John Paton Davies, as well as more contemporary ForeignServiceofficers,suchasAmbassador ThomasD.Boyatt andJohnBradyKiesling. The book also discusses StateDepartment policymaker George Ball and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. Gurman’s presentationcombinedbrief readings fromthe book and commentary with PowerPoint slides. The approach demonstrated the utility of her decision to tell these stories as individual narratives, “like a patchworkquilt of professional and biographical trajectories.” The juxtaposition of the practitioners’ perspectives with Gurman’s academic, research-basedapproachcreateda valuable synergy. Thiswas evident when she invit- ed Amb. Boyatt to comment on her overview of his dissent on Cyprus policy under Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1974. Amb. Boyatt received AFSA’s Christian A. Herter Award for construc- tive dissent by a senior-level Foreign Service officer in 1977. (He had already receivedAFSA’sWilliamR. RivkinAward for constructive dissent by a mid-level FSO in 1970.) Amb. Boyatt pointed out that AFSA began its dissent awards program several years before theStateDepartment set up its Dissent Channel in 1971. Besides the Rivkin and Herter Awards, AFSA confers the W. Averell Harriman Award for constructive dissent by a junior officer and the F. Allen “Tex” Harris Award for constructive dissent by a Foreign Service specialist. The lively and thoughtful Q&A session that followed gave the audience the oppor- tunity to share comments and observations steeped in first- hand experience. Afterward, Gurman commented, “I real- ly enjoyed the event and espe- cially appreciated some of the incisive questions and com- ments in the Q&A.” An excerpt fromthe book appeared as an article, “Dissent in the Kissinger Era,” in the July-August 2011 Foreign Service Journal . Gurman’sworkhas alsoappeared in Diplomatic History, The Journal of Contemporary History and Small Wars Journal , aswell as on www.Salon.comand Ms. Gurman is a clinical assistant pro- fessor at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where she teachesU.S. history, literature and culture. She is alsoa columnist for thedigital think- tank, Foreign Policy in Focus, and is cur- rently editing a volume on counterinsur- gency for New Press. Author Hannah Gurman dis- cusses her new book. IAN HOUSTON Amb. Tom Boyatt makes a point during the Q&A. IAN HOUSTON