Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service

Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service

Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service

Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service

Synopsis

The U.S. Foreign Service is sometimes derided, often underappreciated, occasionally praised, rarely examined, and almost never understood. And yet whether America's diplomacy succeeds or fails depends to a large extent on its foreign service professionals. Career Diplomacy is an insider's guide that examines the foreign service as an institution, a profession, and a career. Harry W. Kopp and Charles A. Gillespie, both of whom had long and distinguished careers in the foreign service, provide a full and well-rounded picture of the organization, its place in history, its strengths and weaknesses, and its role in American foreign affairs. Based on their own experiences and through interviews with over 85 current and former foreign service officials, the authors lay out what to expect in a foreign service career, from the entrance exam through midcareer and into the senior service—how to get in, get around, and get ahead. The book concludes with a stirring chapter on tomorrow's diplomats and the future of the foreign service as an institution. Readers will benefit from several appendices, which include a Department of State organization chart, core precepts of the foreign service, and internet resources.Career Diplomacy reveals what America's professional diplomats do and how they do it. It is a rare, first-hand look in to the life and work of this country's professional diplomats, who advance and protect U.S. national security interests around the globe.

Excerpt

Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service began as a gleam in a general’s eye. In 2005 retired U.S. Army general John R. Galvin joined the policy committee of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to a strong, professional foreign service. General Galvin, a soldier-diplomat who had commanded allied forces in Europe and had served as dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, wondered out loud whether the foreign service had a book that would guide him through the basics. There is no such book, he was told. “Well, there should be,” he said, and Tony Gillespie, another member of the committee, agreed. The Cox Foundation provided some seed money, Ambassador Gillespie recruited former foreign service officer Harry Kopp to work with him on the project, and the result is in these pages.

Whether America’s diplomacy succeeds or fails depends to a large extent on its foreign service professionals. Career Diplomacy describes the foreign service as an institution, a profession, and a career. It provides a full and rounded picture of the organization, its place in history, its strengths and weaknesses, and its role in American foreign affairs. It is not a polemic. The authors have (mostly) resisted the temptation to tell the world what is wrong and how to set it right.

Readers of this book will come to understand who America’s professional diplomats are, the behavior and achievements they reward, and the culture in which they operate. If you are in, or interested in, the service, Career Diplomacy will teach you things you did not know. If you are thinking about joining the service, this book will help you make a wise decision.

The authors invite comments to be sent to host@careerdiplomacy.com.

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