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    Former U.S. ambassador Dennis Jett explains where ambassadors come from, what they do, where they go, and why they still matter.

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    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."

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

“Our Man is Inside” — The U.S. Ambassador, Kidnapped at a Reception

Diego Asencio_ColombiaOn February 27, 1980, the Colombian socialist guerrilla group known as the April 19th Movement, or M-19, burst into the Dominican Embassy in Bogota during a reception celebrating Dominican Independence Day and took dozens of people hostage, including several ambassadors. One of those was Diego Asencio, the U.S. Ambassador to Colombia.

Read more Moments in Diplomatic History.


Celebrate Black History Month — Clifton Wharton

WhartonstampClifton Reginald Wharton, Sr. was the first African-American Foreign Service Officer to rise to the rank of ambassador without a political appointment.  In four decades as a career Foreign Service Officer, Wharton held positions in various posts worldwide including in Liberia, the Canary Islands, Madagascar, Portugal, France, Romania, and Norway.

Read about other Fascinating Figures.

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Inside Foggy Bottom

C Street entranceFoggy Bottomusa-consulate-1-200x200 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.

A Brief History of the Consular Service 

Throughout its rich history, consular service has attracted such luminaries as writer Brett Harte and future mayor of New York Fiorello LaGuardia as well as its share of the corrupt and power hungry, who liked the money their services brought in and the autonomy that isolation from Washington provided. Herewith a brief history of the consular service from the time of the pharaohs to the courts of France to the growing pains of the American Republic.


The Stump

grief-loss-therapy-statue cryingThe Stumpstump photo is an online forum to encourage 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

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 while 67 of their colleagues survived. FSO and Beirut survivor Anne Dammarell analyzes how fellow survivors dealt with the bombing and its aftermath. As Dammarell writes, “Although seriously wounded, years slipped by before I accepted the reality of my injuries....The bombing was dramatic and, perhaps, the most significant event of my life.”


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 -- the articles he recommends for their substance and popularity. He's got a wide selection from around the globe.


cuba-us-migration-cropSo share the Moments -- they're good for whatever ales you.




1.  The Assassination of Anwar Sadat              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 about Dips

5.  The Peruvian Hostage Rescue                    10.  Re-establishing ties with Cuba, 1977


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.

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