It’s That Time of Year

If you know folks in the Foreign Service, you know that they have their ears on the ground for a few weeks now listening for promotion news. The Senior Foreign Service list came out in late September, the FS-03 to FS-02 mid-level list came out late last week (thanks Digger!), the rest should come out any day now. (I’ll add the links here once AFSA post the lists online).

Congratulations to Ambassador Christopher Dell (formerly DCM at US Embassy Kabul and most recently confirmed as US Ambassador to Kosovo) for his promotion to Career-Minister (that’s equivalent to a 3-star general). Also promoted to the rank of Career-Minister are: Ambassador David Pearce, currently of US Embassy Algeria and Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, currently of US Embassy Kenya. Stephen Mull, currently Acting Assistant Secretary for Political Military and Marcie Ries, currently the DAS at the VCI Bureau were also promoted to the same rank.

Unlike the private sector, promotion in the FS does not come immediately with a top floor office or a new position. It does allow you to bid for higher rank-jobs when you rotate to a new assignment. Those bidding now most probably have two bid lists, one if they get promoted, the other one if they don’t. And with promotion you get bigger responsibilities (and bigger headaches) and more people to supervise as you go up the career ladder. If you break into the mid-level or the Senior Foreign Service, it also means larger square footage in assigned housing (based on position rank and family size). If you are the Ambassador, DCM, or principal officer, you get an official Pickard China fine china dining set, an official residence expense reimbursable account and at least 12-14 dining room seating. (I can’t tell if the embassy china is embossed with the Great Seal eagle crest in 24 karat gold like the presidential grade china).

In any case, in the competitive nature of the diplomatic service, we have yet to hear of anyone turn down a position because it carries a bigger headache. With that in mind, a promotion tanka ….

with this promotion
a top floor office—quietly
my crowded inbox
waves a flag, two aspirins
on my desk, makes a fun wag

Related Items:

Rank Tiers and Grade Equivalents
15 FAM 260: Guidelines for Allocating Residential Space

Space Standards Charts
15 FAM 230: Allocating Residential Space