Inside the Book
Can the following duties be required by the same profession: Teaching effective governance, participating in nuclear negotiations, organizing cultural events, reforming child-adoption systems, selling weapons, recovering from natural disasters, promoting U.S. business, issuing passports and visas, setting up counterterrorism programs, resettling refugees, visiting prisoners, and fixing public relations problems? Yes, they can — welcome to the U.S. Foreign Service.
Chapter 1: What Does the Foreign Service Do?
Defining the mission. Determining the strategy and tactics. Modest resources for diplomacy. The difficulty of building a fan base. The humanizing of diplomacy. Challenging diplomats’ identity. “Shock to the system.”
Chapter 2: Who Are America’s Diplomats?
Exclusive club no longer. Skills old and new. Making things happen. Selecting future diplomats. “Each hire is a $5 million investment.” Learning from the best. The tricky concept of political ambassadorships. Public perceptions and misperceptions. The Foreign Service-Civil Service division. The local staff — the “backbone” of an embassy.
Chapter 3: The Diplomat in Chief
Colin Powell. Condoleezza Rice. Hillary Clinton.
PART II: DEALING WITH THE WORLD AS IT IS
Chapter 4: Managing Foreign Relations
The embassy as a mini-government. When short-term and long-term goals clash. An ambassador’s autonomy. The art of suasion. The intricacies of diplomatic reporting. Who sets the agenda? Fighting common battles.
Chapter 5: Economic and Business Diplomacy
Seeking a level playing field. The Foreign Commercial Service. The Foreign Agricultural Service.
Chapter 6: Public Diplomacy
A seat at the policy table. Running a global media operation. “Ignorance is our number one enemy.” Building lasting relationships. Combating violent extremism.
Chapter 7: Consular Affairs
When saving lives means breaking the law. “Any American, any problem, any time.” Getting “beaten up” for “doing things right.” Child abduction battles. September 11 and the shakeup of the U.S. visa system. Fortress America? Holding “lives in the balance.” The visa mill. “Worked to death.” Domestic pressures. The visa-selling business.
PART III: MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
Chapter 8: In Pursuit of Good Governance
The mission of transformational diplomacy. Development, foreign aid and USAID. Promoting democracy and human rights. Maintaining peace and stability. Providing basic services and economic opportunity.
Chapter 9: Expeditionary Diplomacy
Rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan. The world’s largest embassies. Civilian life in a war zone. The people problem. Improvising in a “non-permissive environment.” Bonding with the military. Success and failure.
PART IV: LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
Chapter 10: Teaching Diplomacy
Thrown in a pool, learning how to swim. The “luxury” of professional development. How exactly does one teach diplomacy? Turning potential into success. Why leadership skills matter.
Chapter 11: Navigating the Bureaucracy
“Better, faster, cheaper and friendlier.” Inefficiencies and inertia linger. The opaqueness of making assignments. “Skewed” but consequential evaluations. How exactly does one get promoted? Lack of continuity and institutional memory.
Chapter 12: The Foreign Service Way of Life
Behind the glamour: Carjacked, kidnapped or killed. Fighting a “bunker mentality.” “How do you ask another person to put their life on hold?” Raising a family on the go. Advances for gay diplomats. Single in the Foreign Service: “It’s a little death every time.”
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Message to readers
This book has no connection to the U.S. government. The Department of State provided the author with access to embassies, consulates and diplomats, but it did not commission or review the book, and has not endorsed it.
MAY 14 — LOUISVILLE, KY
MAY 31 — BUENOS AIRES
OCT 03 — ATHENS, GREECE
OCT 07 — ANKARA, TURKEY
OCT 09 — ISTANBUL, TURKEY
OCT 15 — MADRID, SPAIN
OCT 17 — LISBON, PORTUGAL
OCT 21 — BERLIN, GERMANY
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