The Foreign Service Journal, November 2023

28 NOVEMBER 2023 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL that turns out to be the beginning of the Philippine People Power revolution. From that inauspicious beginning, the writer goes on to serve 37 years in the Foreign Service, most of it in Southeast Asia. Imperfect Partners covers revolution in the Philippines, U.S.- Vietnam relationship building in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, postwar Cambodia, and other hot spots in U.S. foreign policy. In his review of the book (October 2023 FSJ), Ambassador (ret.) Ted Osius notes: “Marciel provides an insider’s view of events while remaining scrupulous about history and evenhanded in his analysis. Rather than writing a memoir, Marciel chose to weave his insights into the story of recent diplomatic engagement in the region in which he spent most of [his career].” This helps the book go beyond a mere academic viewpoint— what other policy handbook reflects on singing karaoke with the Indonesian defense minister on the margins of an ASEAN Regional Forum meeting? Scot Marciel retired from the Foreign Service in 2022. He served as U.S. ambassador to Myanmar and Indonesia and was ambassador for ASEAN affairs. He also served as principal deputy assistant secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs and in the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Türkiye, and Brazil. Marciel is currently a fellow at Stanford University’s Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center and a senior adviser at BowerGroupAsia. POLICY & ISSUES The Manager’s Workbook: Six Worksheets for the Evaluation Cycle Virginia Blaser, independently published, 2022, $4.99/paperback, e-book available, 68 pages. In an April 2023 Foreign Service Journal article, author Virginia Blaser writes: “During my three decades in the State Department, I saw how some extremely poor evaluation practices entrenched in our culture disadvantaged those who may not be strong writers, are not familiar with how to game the evaluation system, or who have supervisors who are not fully engaged in the evaluation process or poor writers themselves.” Blaser’s attempt at a solution to this critical human resources problem can be found in The Manager’s Workbook: Six Worksheets for the Evaluation Cycle. This slim book—available online for free—helps new managers develop a system that works across the evaluation cycle. There are sections on onboarding new employees, creating a predictable system of check-ins, and, because every post is marked by yearly employee churn, a chapter on predeparture reviews. With worksheets, questionnaires, and even a list of bonus questions to help trigger useful dialogue, Blaser’s book is a mustread for anyone thinking about the upcoming evaluation season. During 34 years in the Foreign Service, Virginia Blaser served in Madrid, Brussels, London, San Salvador, Port Louis, Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Cape Town, and Washington, D.C., with four tours as a deputy chief of mission and principal officer. She was also a Presidential Rank Award recipient. Blaser retired in 2022 and lives in Cape Town. The Everyday Feminist: The Key to Sustainable Social Impact Driving Movements We Need Now More Than Ever Latanya Mapp Frett, Wiley, 2023, $28.00/hardcover, e-book available, 240 pages. Latanya Mapp Frett defines “everyday feminists” as ordinary people who use their voice and personal resources to push for transformational social change within their communities. In this book, she shares compelling stories of some of the ordinary women with whom she worked throughout her career, introducing readers to littleknown feminists and exploring how these women have been successful in their activism. For example, while in law school, she studied in Nairobi, where she met a hairdresser whose salon doubled as a center for community debate and activism. The experience expanded Frett’s understanding of the ways and places in which activists could serve. From there, she met other women doing the same hard work throughout the global south and in the U.S., working first as a lawyer with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, later as an FSO with USAID, and then as the executive director of Planned Parenthood Global. Frett also offers actionable advice for social impact professionals in larger organizations—like USAID and the State Department— as well as for lawmakers, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit profession- als looking to replicate the grassroots success of these women.