Holiday Greetings From U.S. Embassies and Consulates Around the World – 2015

Posted: 12:58 am EDT
Updated: 12/23/15 @ 10:31 pm PDT
Updated 8:34 pm PDT
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For the rest of the holiday videos from U.S. embassies and consulates, please check out those from US Embassy Phnom PenhUS Embassy BishkekUS Embassy RomeUS Consulate General NaplesUS Consulate General Jerusalem, and US Embassy Helsinki.

U.S. Embassy Podgorica

 

U.S. Embassy Seoul

 

U.S. Embassy Vienna

 

U.S. Embassy Oslo

 

USCG Mumbai

 

U.S. Embassy Jakarta

 

U.S. Embassy Prague

 

U.S. Embassy Port Moresby

 

Happy Holidays From USAID

 

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Photo of the Day: Ambassador Walter North Visits the Mendi Valley

Posted: 12:48 am EDT
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Via US Embassy Port Moresby/FB:

Screen Shot

US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Walter North during his visit to Mendi, the provincial capital of the Southern Highlands Province in PNG.  Mendi also refers to the people of the Mendi Valley.  Read more about them here (PDF).

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Photo of the Day: In Cowries and Frangipanis at Boera, Papua New Guinea

Posted: 12:23  am EDT
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Via state.gov

Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom meets with community members in Boera, Papua New Guinea, on September 10, 2015, to learn about climate change impacts on the community and to join them in celebrating with Motuan cultural songs, dances, and history. Earlier in the day, Deputy Secretary Higginbottom launched a USAID Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP), which will build the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities in the Pacific region to withstand more intense and frequent weather events and ecosystem degradation in the short term and sea level rise in the long term. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom meets with community members in Boera, Papua New Guinea, on September 10, 2015, to learn about climate change impacts on the community and to join them in celebrating with Motuan cultural songs, dances, and history. Earlier in the day, Deputy Secretary Higginbottom launched a USAID Coastal Community Adaptation Project (C-CAP), which will build the resilience of vulnerable coastal communities in the Pacific region to withstand more intense and frequent weather events and ecosystem degradation in the short term and sea level rise in the long term. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

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State Dept Wants You to Join the Foreign Service — Start Now So You’re on Board on/about 2015

The 12:35 minute video features Secretary Clinton, US Ambassador to Thailand Kristie Kenney, US Ambassador to Haiti Pamela White, a management analyst from the Foreign Service Institute giving a tour of the pretend jail at FSI, and several officers who may or may not be entry level officers on their first or second tours.

The video above came with a 1:16 minute trailer and the following media note:

As part of an effort to continue to attract smart, dynamic, capable people into the Foreign Service, the Department of State is releasing a new one-minute trailer and an accompanying short video that showcases the faces and stories of the amazing men and women who have helped make the world a better place through a career in the Foreign Service.

The video is meant to inspire and promote participation in American diplomacy through joining the Foreign Service. Through compelling stories and powerful imagery, the film aims to educate and engage Americans on the incredible career opportunities available in the Foreign Service.

As Secretary Clinton says, “The challenges of the 21st century offer something for everyone in the Foreign Service and they also demand a wide range of skills and experience…we need you now.”

The Foreign Service represents the United States around the world and provides the opportunity to experience cultures, customs and people of different nations in a career truly unlike any other. In this constantly changing world, we want to continue to recruit adaptable, resourceful, intelligent, and innovative strategic-thinkers, from diverse educational, geographic and cultural backgrounds.

If that sounds like what you’re looking for – sign up now at careers.state.gov:  http://careers.state.gov/officer/selection-process.

The video is meant to inspire, as they say, so it does not mention the timeline on the hiring process (still about two years) or the challenges for dual-income families reduced to one when the accompanying spouse is unable to find work overseas.   It’s a recruitment video, so that’s understandable. But perhaps the most glaring omission of all — out of about a dozen officers featured in this video, did you see anyone shown working in the danger zones of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan?  Other than that, the video is a nice showcase.

To help the film educate Americans, below are some related posts from former FSO now Gadling columnist, Dave Seminara. Do not/not skip the “How To Avoid Posts Where You Might Get Eaten Alive.” That seems important.

Here is also a must-read piece by retired FSO Peter Van Buren who underwent quite a bit of beard shaving and shunning in the aftermath of the publication of his book, We Meant Well:

And just to be clear — Papua New Guinea now only has one tribe, the Korowai (numbering about 3,000) reported to practice ritual cannibalism.  They do not/not live anywhere near the US Embassy compound in Port Moresby. So that should make you feel better….

In any case, we are not in the business to encourage or discourage anyone from joining the Foreign Service. What we will say is that the Foreign Service is not for everyone.  You can have the best times of your lives, you can have the worst times of your lives.  Not one or the other at all times.  So if you join, make sure you got a Plan B … because stuff happens.

One of the saddest people we’ve encountered is a mid-level employee with kids, a mortgage, and nowhere to go but stay put even when the FS has lost its sparkle.  As Yoda would probably say in a galaxy far, far away – having more than one option, success is.  Good luck!

domani spero sig

 

 

Officially In: Walter North – from Egypt to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Republic of Vanuatu

On July 10, President Obama announced his intent to nominate Walter North as the next Ambassador to Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Republic of Vanuatu. The WH released the following brief bio:

Walter North, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Career-Minister, is currently the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director in Egypt.  Mr. North previously served as USAID Mission Director in Indonesia (2007-2011); India (2000-2004); and Zambia (1996-2000), as well as Deputy Mission Director in Ethiopia (1992-1996).  Posts at USAID’s Washington headquarters have included: Interim Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Africa (2006-2007); Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Policy and Program Coordination (2005-2006); and Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Asia and the Near East (2004-2005).   Before joining USAID in 1980, Mr. North was a project manager for the non-profit, humanitarian organization, CARE in India and Bangladesh, and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ethiopia.

He received a B.A. from Lawrence University, a J.D. from George Washington University Law School, and an M.P.A. from Harvard University.

Feb 19, 2009 | Secretary Clinton Walks Through walk through Petojo Utara Neighborhood in Jakarta with USAID Director, Mr. Walter North (left), and Mr. Irwansyah (center). [State Department photo]

If confirmed, Mr. North would succeed career FSO Teddy B. Taylorwho was appointed to Port Moresby in 2009.  *We never had a political appointee volunteer for a stint as chief of mission to our embassy in Papua New Guinea.

Domani Spero

* Correction:
Everett Bierman is listed an an FSO both in the Wikipedia list of US Ambassadors to Papua and in the State Department’s Office of the Historian’s list. I was working from those lists.
http://history.state.gov/departmenthistory/people/bierman-everett-e

After a reader called our attention to this, we’ve located additional information that shows Ambassador Bierman was a political appointee. So we have at least one political appointee previously assigned to Papua New Guinea. Thanks M. for the correction!
http://memory.loc.gov/service/mss/mssmisc/mfdip/2005%20txt%20files/2004bie01.txt

 

 

Related item:
July 10, 2012 | President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts