May Journal Looks at the FS Profession and Speaks with Ambassador Bill Burns


Ambassador (ret.) Bill Burns, the diplomat’s diplomat, left the Foreign Service in 2014 after 33 years. Now president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, he spent the last couple years not speaking publicly about the state of State. So, we were delighted when Ambassador Burns agreed to do a Q&A with the FSJ. His new book and his voice help make us all more articulate about the value of diplomacy today.
This month we look at the Foreign Service as a career: the challenges and lessons that come with this complicated, difficult and exciting life of public service. We hear about how the U.S. Foreign Service found its voice in the late 1960s in Harry Kopp’s “Role Models: Lessons for Today from AFSA’s Past,” offering inspiration for the next generation of leaders. In “Serving in Tandem for State,” Kathryn Fitrell and Kanishka Gangopadhyay have suggestions for better management of tandem assignments.
A DS agent shares lessons from his personal journey with PTSD. We hear from an FSO managing Parkinson’s while serving, and an Indian American FSO on questions of identity. In “From Generation to Generation,” FSO Alexis Ludwig shares insights he received as a young officer, while FSO (ret.) Jonathan Rickert reminds us that the best policy is “If You Mess Up, Fess Up.”
Ambassador (ret.) Dennis Jett considers the difficult question of “Why Peacekeeping Fails,” and FSO Lori Johnson provides practical advice in “Reclaim Your Unclaimed Property.”
And in her monthly President’s Views column, Ambassador Barbara Stephenson examines “The State of State: Putting the Back Channel Up Front.”In the June issue, we turn our attention to migration, while the July-August issue will focus on managing competition from China.Please write to us to share your reactions to this edition of the FSJ. Shawn DormanEditor-in-Chief, The Foreign Service
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