Ambassadorship Pitch: Possible Countries — Anywhere in Europe Is A-OK

Posted: 4:14 am ET
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It’s that time of year.  Related to a previous post, Self-Service: Debating the Merits of the Different Ambassadorships, here is an email pitching for an ambassadorship in 2012 for just about anywhere in Europe. The short bio includes places visited for work or pleasure.

  • Spain [REDACTED] New York), extensive travel throughout Spain for professional and personal trips. As a global financial expert, could be very helpful with Spain’s current economic crisis.
  • Belgium — worked on the current EU debt crisis as a global banker.
  • Netherlands —[REDACTED] Numerous visits to Amsterdam for work over the years.
  • Switzerland -[REDACTED] — numerous trips to Zurich and Geneva for work.
  • REDACTED, over 20 trips to Buenos Aires, extensive personal travel throughout the country. Fluent in Spanish.
  • Other European countries — Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, Luxembourg.

Heather Samuleson’s email to Abedin-Mills in December 2012 includes the following:

He noted his “package” is currently with Valarie, Jim Messina and Alyssa and was told by them that S’s recommendation would be a “gamechanger.”  Informed him we are just registering interest and sharing with the WH at this time as it is ultimately a WH decision …


A related note — while former ambassadors do not carry diplomatic passports for life  [*exception: courtesy diplomatic passports are a subtype of diplomatic passports and are issued to former Presidents, Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State, Deputy Secretaries of State, and retired career Senior Foreign Service Officers who attained the personal rank of Career Ambassador, and their spouses and widows/widowers], we’ve always thought that they get to carry their rank for life.  We were recently nudged to revisit the use of the honorific title of Ambassador by former ambassadors.  So we had to revisit the Foreign Affairs Handbook which says:

3 FAH-1 H-2439
(CT:POH-163; 08-18-2014)

b. An individual who has served as an Ambassador, appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, may use the title of ambassador, as appropriate, upon retirement:

U.S. Ambassador, Retired; or

Ambassador-at-Large of the United States, Retired.

One might argue with the phrase “upon retirement” for noncareer appointees but the Transition Center of the Foreign Service Institute has a special note on how to address ambassadors (PDF):

Over the years, and recently as well, there has been discussion about the use of the honorific title of Ambassador by former ambassadors, both those who remain active in the Foreign Service and those who are retired. For years, Department regulations have forbidden this usage unless actually in the job of ambassador or for those few who retired with the personal rank of career Ambassador.

For current employees, long-standing custom and practice, however, has established a clear tradition in the Department and in the Foreign Service that persons who have served as ambassador after Senate confirmation may continue to use the title after such service in appropriate communications with others, may be referred to in communications and conversations by the title of Ambassador, and may be introduced to public audiences by the title.

The Department has also clarified the use of the title for persons who have retired from the Foreign Service or left government service who served as ambassador after Senate confirmation. An amendment to the various regulations permits the use of the title, “Ambassador, Retired,” for all such persons.

Unless the Protocol for the Modern Diplomat has been updated to say otherwise, it looks like the use of the honorific title of Ambassador by former ambassadors is permissible.


FS Efficiency Report 1958: Short and Sweet, Plus This FSO’s Wife “Manages a Pleasant Home”

Posted: 2:56 am ET
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The following is an extract from a 1958 efficiency report. The work statement is short, the rating scheme is 1-6, and the comments and recommendations … well, you can see a sampling below:

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PART VI – Comprehensive Comments and Recommendations

Selection boards consistently report the narrative section of the efficiency report to be by far the most important part of the report. In justice to the rated officer, the rating officer must strive to develop the narrative section in such a manner that a picture of the whole officer will emerge, a picture that will enable selection board members to make accurate competitive evaluations with other officers of the class. Statements of praise or criticism should reflect sincere, considered and fair judgments. Cite specific examples to justify your observations. Point up particular strengths and limitations. Any relatively high or low markings in Parts I, II, or III should be justified by concrete illustrations in this section.

Discuss each of the topics below which are pertinent to the officer, typing as a key word or phrase before each section the word or phrase appearing in CAPS.

A. PERSONAL. This officer’s ability for research, summarization and his capacity for hard work are reflected in his political reporting. He works well with others, however, he is a perfectionist in assessing his own work and tends to apply this personal standard to others.

B. PERFORMANCE. Using the wide background knowledge and his professional skill as an educator, [snip] reports are reliable and distinctive.

D. PHYSICAL. He has adjusted to India’s climatic conditions and has shown ability to work under pressure. His general health is excellent.

F. COURAGE. Not observed.

F. REPRESENTATION. This officer is an excellent speaker and uses facts, logic and humor to hold his listeners. He has made good and lasting contacts in this area.

H. FAMILY. The wife of this officer is an agreeable and well-adjusted person. She is popular in the American community as well as other groups with whom she comes in contact. She manages a pleasant home.

Q. REACTION. Performance has not been discussed with this officer.