The Foreign Service Journal, November 2011

30 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 1 1 W hen I began my tenure as editor of the Foreign Serv- ice Journal on July 1, 2001, it was actually meant to be an interim appointment. I’d joined AFSA as as- sociate editor two years before, in April 1999, not long after leaving the Foreign Service following a 12-year ca- reer, and can honestly say I had no am- bition to move up the masthead. Indeed, I wasn’t even sure how long I’d stay at AFSA. Still, I enjoyed the work and being part of a team seeking to advance the mission of an organization of which I’d been a mem- ber since my A-100 class in January 1985. So when the opportunity came to apply for the editorship in the spring of 2001, I threw my hat into the ring. And in November 2001, I was named permanent editor. Over the ensuing years, I’ve fre- quently delved into the magazine’s archives, mainly to conduct research but also for pleasure. On those expe- ditions, I am always impressed by the quality and breadth of material con- tained in the Journal month after month. True, I must confess that I oc- casionally see something I wish we hadn’t published (or at least had edited more rigorously). But much more often, I smile as I reread previous pieces. Inspired by those trips down mem- ory lane, I’ve put together a sort of a mini- FSJ , comprised of examples from each of our departments over the past 10 years. (To keep the length manageable, I haven’t included any President’s Views columns, letters, Cybernotes items, In Memory no- tices, Appreciations or anything from AFSA News , though many of those deserve a second airing, too.) Let me emphasize that these are not “fa- vorites” or “the best of” — particularly since I’ve imposed an arbitrary rule on myself: only one example of each genre, and only one selection per year (2001-2008). Blasts from the Past We begin with a Speaking Out column we published exactly six years ago this month: “Leadership at State: A Work in Progress.” In it, retired Ambassador Prudence Bushnell re- minds us that “leadership is not some touchy-feely, people-related thing that’s nice to do if you have time after tending to process and paper. … Rather, leadership is providing the vi- sion, wherewithal and stewardship to enable others to achieve results; it’s leveraging your assets. It’s a job in and of itself.” However each of us assesses the degree to which Foreign Service per- sonnel live up to that call today, indi- vidually and collectively, there is no doubt that Amb. Bushnell’s title still fits. FS Know-How columns are a ve- hicle through which Foreign Service members can give their colleagues practical tips for coping with the many challenges of living and working over- seas. The one I’ve selected — “Help- ing a Colleague Cope with the Death of a Loved One,” by Joan B. Odean (from our July-August 2007 issue) — offers practical tips on one type of leadership that all of us in the Foreign Service, no matter what our job, rank or location, can apply: reaching out to colleagues (and their family members) who are grieving while cut off from their usual support networks. As Joan, an Office Management Specialist now serving in Rome, rightly points out, “The impression you might make on a colleague in need of human contact may be far greater than you ever imagined.” We have published hundreds of focus section articles and dozens of cover stories during my 10 years, so singling one out was the toughest part of putting this compilation together. In particular, the many in-depth special reports Associate Editor Shawn Dorman has produced for us over the years (in addition to her many other duties) clamor for top billing. The sub- jects have been wide-ranging and top- ical, from Iraq service and the surge in unaccompanied FS positions to family member employment, the experiences of post-9/11 entrants into the Foreign Service, the issues facing single em- S PECIAL F EATURE Classic Picks from the Journal’ s Past 10 Years Editor’s Introduction B Y S TEVEN A LAN H ONLEY