Browsing all articles in Blog

13

The Life of an Economic Officer

The Life of an Economic Officer

The following is an excerpt from the blog, Beau Geste, Mon Ami. Larry is an Economic Officer currently on post in Rome.  His interesting take in this post on the art of cable writing is a great introduction into the life of an Economic Officer in the Foreign Service.  Take some time to read through his [...]

Continue reading...

1

T-Scores Explained

T-Scores Explained

While it may be true that we compete against ourselves, especially in the oral exams, on the written exam, the score is based on our relative position on a standardized curve (T-scores), meaning that the mean number of questions answered correctly may have less or more correlation with final mean T-scores based on how representative the population of test [...]

Continue reading...

0

Spending bills threaten Foreign Service pay and hiring

Spending bills threaten Foreign Service pay and hiring

Legislation that significantly reduces Foreign Service pay would hinder the State Department’s ability to conduct its mission, observers say.
The Senate Appropriations committee late last month approved a funding bill for 2012 that would cut State’s budget by 8 percent, while the House Appropriations committee is holding on to legislation that would reduce funding by 18 percent [...]

Continue reading...

4

Cat fight at U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Cat fight at U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Veteran diplomat Ryan C. Crocker can handle Islamist insurgencies, hostile heads of state and management of some of the world’s largest embassies. But what’s he going to do about the cats?
The new leader of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul has probably already walked past (and possibly petted?) Gordo, Freckles, Dusty, Ferdinand and Maria Teresa or [...]

Continue reading...

20

City of Men: The Foreign Policy Community’s Women Retention Problem

City of Men: The Foreign Policy Community’s Women Retention Problem

Micah Zenko points out in a recent piece for Foreign Policy the glaring lack of women in Washington’s foreign policy community. Searching for numbers to support her assumptions, Zenko found less than 30 percent of policy and leadership positions held by women when she reviewed Washington’s ten most prominent think tanks.
The Center for Strategic and [...]

Continue reading...

2

Abroad… All Eyes Turn to Old Glory

Abroad… All Eyes Turn to Old Glory

The following piece was written by former Ambassador to Morocco, Ambassador Marc Ginsberg for the Huffington Post:
“Never take America for granted!” Words my American parents drilled into me during my formative years growing up in the Middle East. Is it possible to become more patriotic when the United States is far over the horizon? Perhaps.
Just [...]

Continue reading...

3

Language Skill Levels Explained

Language Skill Levels Explained

Interagency Language Roundtable Language Skill Level Descriptions
The following proficiency level descriptions characterize spoken language  use. Each of the six “base levels” (coded 00, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50) implies control of any previous “base level’s” functions and accuracy. The ”plus level” designation (coded 06, 16, 26, etc.) will be assigned when proficiency substantially exceeds one base skill [...]

Continue reading...

1

Hearing highlights need for Foreign Service training, lack of congressional interest

Hearing highlights need for Foreign Service training, lack of congressional interest

At a time when some North African and Middle East states are in chaos and America is posting large numbers of civilians in war zones, the United States is sending Foreign Service officers abroad poorly equipped to deal with the critical situations they face.
That’s the takeaway of a report by the American Academy of Diplomacy and [...]

Continue reading...

7

Children of diplomats displaced by strife often caught between two worlds

Children of diplomats displaced by strife often caught between two worlds

With each regime that teeters, each uprising that forces a U.S. embassy to be evacuated, more American diplomats, aid workers and their families seek shelter at a nondescript Falls Church apartment complex with a nondescript name: Oakwood. The only hint of its connection to international affairs is the United Nations flag flying overhead.
The students left [...]

Continue reading...

6

U.S. Foreign Service: on the front lines in Egypt

U.S. Foreign Service: on the front lines in Egypt

It is right and natural that we devote a great deal of time deliberating about the foreign policy and other implications of the events unfolding in Egypt. For Egypt, these events constitute a national crisis; for the United States, a foreign-policy crisis. But for many individuals, these events also represent a personal crisis. These include [...]

Continue reading...