embassy staff, who already have full- time work to do. At a minimum, the White House needs to take the real challenges of diplomatic service into greater account when deciding which of the major donors will receive posts, and the Senate needs to exercise its role of advice and consent with greater care. The issue at hand is not simply the background of the nominee, which may be sterling, but the ability of the nominee to meet the distinc- tive challenges of diplomatic service in a new organizational environment in a new country. WilliamDavnie, an FSO since 1981, has served in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Moscow, Dushanbe, Vilnius and Washington, D.C. He is currently pub- lic affairs officer in Helsinki. 16 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / N O V E M B E R 2 0 0 6 S P E A K I N G O U T Need to Sound the Alarm About Something? Why not write a “Speaking Out” column for the Foreign Service Journal ? “Speaking Out” is your forum to advocate policy, regulatory or statutory changes affecting the Foreign Service. These can be based on personal experience with an injustice or convey your hard-won insights into a foreign affairs-related issue. Writers are encouraged to take strong stands, but all factual claims must be supported and documented. Submissions should be approximately 1,500 words in length and should be sent via e-mail to email@example.com. Please note that all submissions to the Journal must be approved by the Editorial Board and are subject to editing for style, length and format.