The Foreign Service Journal, September 2012

60 F OR E I GN S E R V I C E J OU R N A L / S E P T EMB E R 2 0 1 2 A F S A N E W S A small white building sits on the outskirts of the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Va. Belying its plain exterior, the building houses a lively group of professionals and a wealth of knowl- edge that make up the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training. Founded in 1986, ADST was created as a scholarly entity whose mission is to support the Foreign Service Institute. Since then, the nonprofit organization has grown to include many programs and depends on funding from foundations, an endowment and donations. More than 400 members support the organi- zation through dues and volunteer activ- ities. An energetic staff, which includes interns and other volunteers, works hard to achieve its two primary objectives: sup- porting FSI’s training programs and advancing knowledge of U.S. diplomacy. “We play to our strengths,” says Ken Brown, the association’s president. The association provides FSI with a link to the private sector, secures funds for newpilot programs, recognizes outstanding indi- viduals through annual and biennial awards for leadership and for- eign language training, and examines FSI courses for acad- emic credit. ADST offers programs not only for FSOs-in-training,but for the general public, aswell. Their Web site,, exploresU.S. diplomatic history and foreign affairs. Numerous exhibitions highlight the history of diplomacy and showcase diplomatic memorabilia. The Jewel in ADST’s Crown The Foreign Affairs Oral HistoryCollection is the jewel in ADST’s crown, however. Since 1985, more than 1,700 interviews have been col- lected fromformer Foreign Servicemem- bers. The oral histories span 70 years and create a dynamic picture of the lives and work of American diplomats. As ADST states: “These interviews go beyond offi- cial events and take audiences behind the scenes to understand the inner workings of American diplomacy as it defends the nation’s citizens and their interests in a changing world.” During training, the oral history col- lection serves to inform Foreign Service officers onwhat has been done in the past and the type of diplomaticwork theymay encounter during their own careers. Oral History Director Stu Kennedy (who has conducted more than 1,000 interviews) noted that the recordedmem- ories are much more blunt than a mem- oir. “They strip away the diplomatic gloss from the hard work.” The stories circle the globe — from Saigon and the Vietnam War, to life in Saudi Arabia during the PersianGulfWar and working in the European under- ground during World War II. Whether the diplomatswere immersed in the action or a fly on the wall, their pride in being a part of history comes through ADST’s transcripts. “It is a very large collection of Ameri- can social history,” Kennedy remarked. As the collection continues to grow — with 80 new interviews added annually —it stands as one of the most significant oral history collections on foreign affairs. The collection is alsomade available to writers and teachers of foreign affairs, high school and college students, and the gen- eralpublic through theLibraryofCongress’ AmericanMemory collection at memory. ADST Book Series “Since1776, extraordinarymenandwomenhave represented theUnitedStates abroad under all sorts of circumstances. What they did and how and why they did it remain little known to their compatriots. This book series seeks to demystify diplomacy by telling the story of thosewho have conducted our foreign relations, as they lived, influ- enced, and reported them.” So reads the inscription found in each book published by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training with DACOR. Two series—Diplomats andDiplomacy, andMemoirs andOccasional Papers— capture the lives of Americandiplomats living andworking abroad. PublishingDirector MargeryThompsonoversees the productionof eachbook, frommanuscript to secur- ing a publisher. Collectively, the two series encompass 75 books, with more to come this year. The series covers a wide array of topics: The Anguish of Surrender by Ulrich Straus , China Boys by Nicholas Platt, Emperor Dead and Other Historic American Diplomatic Dispatches by Peter D. Eicher, and African Wars: Recollections of a Defense Intelligence Officer byWilliamG. Thom, for example. SixADSTbooks have received theDouglas Dillon Award for Books of Distinction on the practice of American diplomacy. Capturing American Diplomacy One Interview at a Time BY BETH ROMAGNOLI, AFSA STAFF ADST’s Oral History Director Stu Kennedy (L) interviews former Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte. ADST