Posted: 3:55 am ET
The last time we wrote about Joseph Cassidy (@cassidyjosephp) in this blog was when we picked the best lines from his “10 Ways to Fix America’s Ailing State Department” in July 2015. He served 25 years in the Foreign Service. He joined the Service in 1989 and previously served in Georgetown, Nairobi, Windhoek, OSCE, USUN and Baghdad. He also served at IO, DRL, the WH, and as Special Assistant to P, INR and the Executive Secretariat. He is currently a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The following is an excerpt from his recent FP/Argument piece; we added some gifs. Read in full here: How to Be a Loyal State Department Bureaucrat in the Trump Administration and Keep a Clear Conscience.
At the State Department, where Trump has nominated ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary, there is trepidation among career officers that a politicized workplace could force them to choose among their loyalties to the incoming president, the State Department as an institution, and national interests. Although career foreign service and civil service personnel are accustomed to operating amid layers of institutional equities, their primary loyalty must be to the Constitution — the subject of the oath, dating in its current form to 1884, that all employees swear.
To friends and former colleagues at State, particularly new officers who have not previously served through a change of administrations, here are a few suggestions regarding how to reconcile professional loyalties:
#1. Engage incoming political appointees.
#2. Defend the institution.
#3. Fix what’s broken.
#4. Reconcile yourself to life in a large organization.
#5. If you can’t deal, leave.
#6. But if you’re going to stay, serve with professionalism.
#7. Fight for what you believe in.
#8. Create a paper trail.
#9. Use the Dissent Channel process.
#10. Should employment become intolerable, honorably resign.
#11. Above all, prevail.
#12. Oh, and also redecorate.
As long as a real estate developer used to living in a gilded penthouse is president, State might as well seek funding to replace the linoleum hallway floors and the tired aluminum blinds. In its current dilapidated condition, the Truman building is just sad.
Seriously, read the full piece here: How to Be a Loyal State Department Bureaucrat in the Trump Administration and Keep a Clear Conscience.