• Slider-book-of-the-month-Pot-Shards

    Don Gregg spent thirty-one years as an operations officer in CIA and ten years in the White House under Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. Pot Shards is his memoir.

  • Website banner 2

    A Cold End to the Prague Spring -- The USSR Invades Czechoslovakia

  • store-slide

    At Poor Richard's General Store, we have all you need to show that you're a proud member of ADST Nation. As Poor Richard would say, "Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it."

  • usdip-slider

    Interested in learning more about our nation's diplomatic history? Visit our sister site,!

End of an Era: The August Coup and the Final Days of the Soviet Union

Aug coup moscowSoviet hardliners attempted to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev in a desperate attempt to save the collapsing Soviet Union. Declaring a state of emergency, eight government officials forcibly detained Gorbachev in the Crimea, where he refused to resign. Armored tanks thundered into Moscow on the morning of August 19th. Russian President Boris Yeltsin condemned the coup and commanded those responsible to release Gorbachev. 

Read more Moments in Diplomatic History.

Dean Acheson, Cold War Architect

acheson1Dean Acheson served as Secretary of State under President Truman from 1949-1953. Noting his enormous influence, historian Randall Woods described Acheson as “a primary architect” of the Cold War. During his tenure, he helped craft U.S. containment policy, the formation of the NATO alliance, and American intervention in the Korean War. Although he returned to his private law practice, Acheson later advised Presidents Johnson and Kennedy during the Vietnam War and Cuban Missile Crisis. 

Read about other Fascinating Figures

In Memoriam

Ambassador Terence Todman (March 13, 1926 – August 13, 2014)

todman portraitWe are saddened to learn that Ambassador Terence Todman passed away at 5:27 a.m. August 13 in St. Thomas Virgin Islands after a brief illness. 

Ambassador Todman was one of the few people to attain the rank of Career Ambassador – the equivalent of a four-star general – in the Department of State, having served as Ambassador to six different countries. He is also one of the few African Americans to be so honored and was known for his outspokenness during a time of segregated dining facilities, when few minorities could be found at any level of the Department.

Terence Todman was born on March 13, 1926, in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands as one of 13 siblings. He served in the U.S. Army before joining the Foreign Service in 1954. He served at the UN, in New Delhi, then began intensive training program in Arabic. He was later named Ambassador to Chad and Guinea, then Costa Rica, the first African American to serve in such a position in Latin America. Later he became Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, where he helped negotiate the Panama Canal Treaty. In 1978 Todman was named Ambassador to Spain. In 1983, however, he declined an offer to be nominated as Ambassador to South Africa, since he could not support President Reagan’s stance on apartheid. Instead, he accepted an ambassadorship to Denmark, a position he held for six years.

He was a great supporter of various charities and causes throughout his life, including ADST, where he was a former member of the Board and the Advisory Council. He will be deeply missed. People are invited to make contributions in honor of departed colleagues in support of ADST. Those interested can contact ADST at 703 302-6990 or click the Donate to ADST button at the top of the page.

Inside Foggy Bottom

C Street entranceFoggy Bottombeijing sasser refers not only to that neighborhood of Washington, DC, but also to the State Department itself. In this feature, we will try to dispel that fog and smoke and cast light on some of the lesser known aspects of the State Department and diplomatic history.  

How to Handle a Crisis -- Ambassador Edition

Herewith a collection of best practices from recent ambassadors to assist newly minted ambassadors. In this segment, a few nuggets of wisdom on security and crisis management. 



The Stump

The StumpUS-Embassy-in-Beirut-after-1983-suicide-bombing-Flickr-C-Stephanie-Comfort-Bill-Pierce-Sygma-540x405stump photo is an online forum to encourage creativity and discussion on issues regarding the State Department and foreign policy. The views expressed should not be considered official statements of the U.S. government or ADST.

PTSD in the Foreign Service -- The Embassy Beirut Bombing

In an unprecedented suicide attack on Americans, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was bombed on April 18, 1983. Seventeen Americans, including Foreign Service Officers and USAID workers, were killed in the blast. FSO and Beirut survivor Anne Dammarell analyzes how fellow survivors dealt with the bombing and its aftermath as well as the State Department’s response to the crisis. 



Big Ben’s Top Ten


Powers on trial (AP Credit)Your BF serves them up the way you like them -- great taste and more filling!

Check out Big Ben's Top Ten of All Time. He's got a wide selection from around the globe.


china Nixon and MaoSo share the Moments -- they're good for whatever ales you.




Palomares_H-Bomb_Incident1.  Korean Air 007 Shot Down                           6.  Murder in an Embassy        

2.  Trial of U2 Pilot Francis Gary Powers          7.  The Tet Offensive          

3.  Terrorist Attack in Khartoum                        8.  Nixon Goes to China           

4.  The Jonestown Massacre                              9.  8 Weird Things You Didn't Know About Diplomats  

5.  The U.S. Drops Nukes on Spain                  10.  Nasser and the Suez Crisis


ben_cool (2)The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  – William Faulkner

The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training (ADST) is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 1986. Located at the State Department’s George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Virginia, ADST advances understanding of American diplomacy and supports training of foreign affairs personnel through a variety of programs and activities.

Over the past quarter century ADST has conducted more than 1800 oral histories, which are also posted on the Library of Congress website, with more to come. Interviewees include such fascinating people as Prudence Bushnell, who describes her harrowing experiences during the bombing of U.S. Embassy Nairobi, Julia Child, Philip Habib, Dean Rusk, George Ball, Kathleen Turner, and many others. Excerpts from our oral history collections highlight the horrifying, the thought-provoking, and the absurd. In other words, they reflect the reality of diplomacy, warts and all.

Our Sponsors

Clements statedept_logofinalDACOR logoChevron-corporation