Travels with Hillary

Secretary Clinton arrives in Tokyo, Japan on the first stop of her trip to Asia.
State Department Photo

Nicholas Kralev, The Washington Times’ diplomatic correspondent has traveled around the world with three secretaries of state — Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright – and now Hillary Clinton. He is a former writer for the weekend edition of the Financial Times and has a master’s degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has previously written an 8-part series about the Foreign Service entitled “America’s Other Army.”

He has a couple of new write-ups on Hillary over the last couple of days. On Sunday (February 22), he did “Candid Clinton off script overseas: Breach of ‘diplo-speak’ startles envoys, activists.” During her first Asian trip as SoS, Hillary spoke about the leadership succession in North Korea: “I don’t think that it’s a forbidden subject to talk about succession in the Hermit Kingdom,” she said. “In fact, it seems to me it’s got to be factored into any policy review that one is undertaking.” By the end of the week just before Beijing, she said that she would not let thorny issues such as human rights and Tibet prevent the United States and China from making progress on climate change, security and economic matters. Kralev reports that “awaiting her in Washington are puzzled analysts, angry human rights activists and career diplomats not quite sure what to make of some of her comments.”

Today, Kralev’s On the Fly, his new weekly column is titled, “In air with Clinton on first trip abroad.” Looks like a beginning of a series on traveling with the secretary. Details include preparations for the trip, that is, visas, etc., the staff and press gathering at State for the ride to Andrews Air Force Base, to getting a ride in the Secretary’s reconfigured plane (the Air Force version of Boeing 757 for civilian use), the in-flight movie (“Juno”) and the dining fare (chicken breast and chocolate cake) — on the first leg of their trip to Tokyo.

Kralev writes that Hillary “kept a very busy schedule, and that kept us and the staff up most of the nights.” Um, I guess that’s a signal for sleepy heads to stay home. He promises more about the rest of the trip in next week’s column. If you’ve ever wonder what it’s like traveling with the secretary of state around the world, this series might be worth following. Nicholas Kralev’s TWT page is here.

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Travels with Hillary

Secretary Clinton arrives in Tokyo, Japan on the first stop of her trip to Asia.
State Department Photo

Nicholas Kralev, The Washington Times’ diplomatic correspondent has traveled around the world with three secretaries of state — Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright – and now Hillary Clinton. He is a former writer for the weekend edition of the Financial Times and has a master’s degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has previously written an 8-part series about the Foreign Service entitled “America’s Other Army.”

He has a couple of new write-ups on Hillary over the last couple of days. On Sunday (February 22), he did “Candid Clinton off script overseas: Breach of ‘diplo-speak’ startles envoys, activists.” During her first Asian trip as SoS, Hillary spoke about the leadership succession in North Korea: “I don’t think that it’s a forbidden subject to talk about succession in the Hermit Kingdom,” she said. “In fact, it seems to me it’s got to be factored into any policy review that one is undertaking.” By the end of the week just before Beijing, she said that she would not let thorny issues such as human rights and Tibet prevent the United States and China from making progress on climate change, security and economic matters. Kralev reports that “awaiting her in Washington are puzzled analysts, angry human rights activists and career diplomats not quite sure what to make of some of her comments.”

Today, Kralev’s On the Fly, his new weekly column is titled, “In air with Clinton on first trip abroad.” Looks like a beginning of a series on traveling with the secretary. Details include preparations for the trip, that is, visas, etc., the staff and press gathering at State for the ride to Andrews Air Force Base, to getting a ride in the Secretary’s reconfigured plane (the Air Force version of Boeing 757 for civilian use), the in-flight movie (“Juno”) and the dining fare (chicken breast and chocolate cake) — on the first leg of their trip to Tokyo.

Kralev writes that Hillary “kept a very busy schedule, and that kept us and the staff up most of the nights.” Um, I guess that’s a signal for sleepy heads to stay home. He promises more about the rest of the trip in next week’s column. If you’ve ever wonder what it’s like traveling with the secretary of state around the world, this series might be worth following. Nicholas Kralev’s TWT page is here.

February 27: AFSA Dissent Awards Deadline

The most recent AFSAnet reminds the FS community that this Friday, February 27, is the deadline for nominations for AFSA’s prestigious constructive dissent and exemplary performance awards. The announcement says:

“In recent years, AFSA has often not received qualifying nominations in all available categories. Despite that fact, we are convinced that Foreign Service members continue to practice constructive dissent. But what we sometimes have is a shortage of colleagues who recognize those acts of dissent and take the time to nominate them for an AFSA award. Thus, we encourage all members to think about colleagues who have taken a stand over the past year and nominate them for one of these prestigious awards. Now is the time to honor those who have the professional courage and integrity to speak out forthrightly, using appropriate channels, by taking a stand for what they believe is right; by confronting the status quo; by asking tough questions; by offering alternative solutions; and by giving the best possible counsel that we are trained to give.

Winners receive a $2,500 cash prize and are honored at a ceremony in June at the State Department which is typically attended by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of State. But no one can win unless someone nominates them. Details on nomination procedures and guidelines can be found [at the AFSA awards page or] in the December issue of AFSA’s Foreign Service Journal.”

Four dissent awards are offered:

• The Tex Harris Award for a Foreign Service Specialist
• The Harriman Award for a junior officer (FS 6-FS 4)
• The Rivkin Award for a mid-career officer (FS 3-FS 1)
• The Herter Award for a member of the Senior Foreign Service
(FE OC-FE CA)

Diplomatic spouses/partners with constructive dissent in mind can fogetaboutit. The official dissent channel is open only to employees with dissenting opinions on “substantive foreign policy issues” not spouses/partners, even those impacted by substantive policy issues, e.g. management policy on MOHs. Thus, there’s no AFSA award for spouses unless they fall into either of the following:

The M. Juanita Guess Award is conferred on a Community Liaison Officer who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, dedication, initiative or imagination in assisting the families of Americans serving at an overseas post.

The Avis Bohlen Award honors the accomplishments of a family member of a Foreign Service employee whose relations with the American and foreign communities at post have done the most to advance the interests of the United States.

Go nominate somebody, please.


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Wanted: Patron Saint for Dissenting Diplomats

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February 27: AFSA Dissent Awards Deadline

The most recent AFSAnet reminds the FS community that this Friday, February 27, is the deadline for nominations for AFSA’s prestigious constructive dissent and exemplary performance awards. The announcement says:

“In recent years, AFSA has often not received qualifying nominations in all available categories. Despite that fact, we are convinced that Foreign Service members continue to practice constructive dissent. But what we sometimes have is a shortage of colleagues who recognize those acts of dissent and take the time to nominate them for an AFSA award. Thus, we encourage all members to think about colleagues who have taken a stand over the past year and nominate them for one of these prestigious awards. Now is the time to honor those who have the professional courage and integrity to speak out forthrightly, using appropriate channels, by taking a stand for what they believe is right; by confronting the status quo; by asking tough questions; by offering alternative solutions; and by giving the best possible counsel that we are trained to give.

Winners receive a $2,500 cash prize and are honored at a ceremony in June at the State Department which is typically attended by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of State. But no one can win unless someone nominates them. Details on nomination procedures and guidelines can be found [at the AFSA awards page or] in the December issue of AFSA’s Foreign Service Journal.”

Four dissent awards are offered:

• The Tex Harris Award for a Foreign Service Specialist
• The Harriman Award for a junior officer (FS 6-FS 4)
• The Rivkin Award for a mid-career officer (FS 3-FS 1)
• The Herter Award for a member of the Senior Foreign Service
(FE OC-FE CA)

Diplomatic spouses/partners with constructive dissent in mind can fogetaboutit. The official dissent channel is open only to employees with dissenting opinions on “substantive foreign policy issues” not spouses/partners, even those impacted by substantive policy issues, e.g. management policy on MOHs. Thus, there’s no AFSA award for spouses unless they fall into either of the following:

The M. Juanita Guess Award is conferred on a Community Liaison Officer who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, dedication, initiative or imagination in assisting the families of Americans serving at an overseas post.

The Avis Bohlen Award honors the accomplishments of a family member of a Foreign Service employee whose relations with the American and foreign communities at post have done the most to advance the interests of the United States.

Go nominate somebody, please.


Related Post:

Wanted: Patron Saint for Dissenting Diplomats

Related Items: