The Foreign Service Journal, December 2023

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2023 37 nium as part of the Obama administration’s program to improve nuclear security in the world. Over time, however, Yanukovych and his “family” grew more corrupt and steadily estranged themselves from the Ukrainian people. Civil society was getting stronger in Ukraine, and the U.S. and Europe supported the development of civil society. By the time I left Ukraine in July 2013, Yanukovych’s support had fallen below 20 percent. In November, under pressure from Putin, he abandoned the association agreement that Ukraine had been negotiating with the E.U. Demonstrations broke out on the Maidan Square in Kyiv, and we all know what happened after that. FSJ: Any advice for the U.S. ambassador in Kyiv today, during the continuing assault from Russia? JFT: Bridget Brink, our ambassador in Kyiv now, is a superb Foreign Service officer. She was our political counselor in Georgia during my time there and did a great job. From my observations, she is doing very well leading our embassy in Kyiv in very dangerous conditions. On Being “The Best Boss” FSJ: You are being honored with the lifetime award in part because of how you mentored multiple generations of diplomats. Many who have worked for you refer to you as the best boss they’ve ever had. What’s your secret? JFT: I am not sure there is any secret. I always tried to treat the people with whom I worked the way I wanted to be treated when I was a younger officer. Foreign Service professionals want to be treated with respect and openness. They want to know that their work is valued and that they are contributing to our foreign policy goals. I have always tried to make sure that each member of my staff understood that I valued their work. I have always written recommendations for my staff and continue to do so today six years into retirement. The United States is still the leader in defending the world from aggression and terrorism. We cannot retreat into an isolationist shell and pretend otherwise.