The Foreign Service Journal, December 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2018 77 AFSA NEWS THE WI L L I AM R . R I VK I N AWARD FOR CONSTRUCT I VE D I SSENT BY A MI D - LEVEL OF F I CER ROSHNI MONA NIRODY AFSA CONSTRUCT I VE D I SSENT AWARDS Making CODELs Work for State Roshni Nirody receives this year’s William R. Rivkin Award for arguing against the department’s current policy approaches to engaging with Congress and managing high level visits, and for her work to re-envision institutional thinking in this area. As the political section chief at Embassy Lisbon, Ms. Nirody believed that the department would reap significant benefits by insti- tutionalizing its approach to managing congressional del- egations, including improved advocacy for State Depart- ment priorities on Capitol Hill, improved relations with Congress and more efficient management of CODEL visits. With input from other experienced Foreign Ser- vice officers and military colleagues, Ms. Nirody developed a multipronged strategy of low-cost and no-cost recommendations to re-envision high-level visits as a policy tool that would better advance the execu- tive branch’s foreign policy objectives and U.S. embassy objectives worldwide, while taking into account the resources and regulatory needs of the State Depart- ment. Ms. Nirody targeted key department leadership to advance her work to develop an understanding among leg- islative constituencies of the Foreign Service, their people and their work. She proved that the State Department can use engagements with visiting policymakers in the same strategic way that our military colleagues do. Still involved with the issue, she welcomes further engagement with depart- ment officials to explore the opportunity to fully leverage a primary forum for advocacy that touches every bureau and almost every post in the Foreign Service. Recognizing that Secre- tary of State Mike Pompeo is a former legislator with unique insight into how building an understanding of public service work overseas and enlisting Congress more proactively in policy advance- ment efforts stand to benefit the State Department, Ms. Nirody argued that tapping the full potential of high-level visits fit into the broader objectives of the department. Ms. Nirody argued that tapping the full potential of high-level visits fit into the broader objectives of the department. COURTESYOFROSHNINIRODY Ms. Nirody’s previous assignments were in Tokyo, Baghdad and New Delhi. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ms. Nirody worked for Oracle, Sun Microsystems and other Silicon Valley firms as a demographer, and for the National Geographic Channel as a scientist. Her experiences living and working with nomadic tribes in Burma and nine other countries are the subject of one episode of National Geo- graphic’s documentary “The Next Wave. “ Ms. Nirody has a master’s degree in labor economics from Cornell University and an undergraduate degree fromWashington and Lee University. She speaks Japanese, Hindi, Spanish and Portuguese. n