• Country-Readers (1)
  • 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,!

Crisis Management: Occupation of USIS in South Korea, 1985

Charles Z. Wick: Diplomacy Hollywood-Style

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! It’s Poor Richard’s Podcasts

Cool Ben with Earbuds

iTunesFor a more personal — and often more dramatic — way to experience ADST’s oral history collection, try listening to one of our podcasts!

Click the link to Podbean or iTunes, where you will find our growing selection of podcasts. Such as Eileen Malloy, talking about skinny dipping for her country. Renowned chef and Foreign Service spouse Julia Child and actress Kathleen Turner reminiscing about their experiences with the Foreign Service. Richard Erickson discussing the North Korean seizure of the USS Pueblo.  And more to come!







Highlighted Oral History: David Newton

stage-spotlightdavid newton“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Thanks to Benjamin Franklin for those wise words. The men and women in the foreign affairs community who have taken the time to record their oral histories over the past three decades have created something worth reading and done many things worth writing about. Of the more than 2000 histories we offer, here is one.  If you would like to suggest an oral history to feature, please contact ADST.

David G. Newton, native of Boston, spent most of his diplomatic career specializing in Middle East issues. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from 1985-1988 and to Yemen from 1994-1997.  Following retirement from the Foreign Service, he served as director of Radio Free Iraq, an Arabic language broadcasting organization based in Prague.

Here's an excerpt: "Cheney wanted to talk to the people who did the memo and be briefed... I said that the Iraqi army is well battled, experienced. It’s well equipped, pretty well disciplined. It has absolutely no will to fight. It’s exhausted by eight years of war. They’ll fold after a short time. The Republican Guard will try to resist. We’ll beat them, but they’ll try to resist not because they’re fanatics but because they’re an elite and they consider themselves an elite. That’s pretty much what happened."

To see the entire list of oral histories, please follow the link.


Inside Foggy Bottom

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.

elam-thomasCelebrating the History of Black Ambassadorial Leadership

Among the list of Black Americans who have officially held the position of Ambassador, 96 (65%) have been men, while 52 (35%) have been women. Geographically, the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa have hosted a Black American Ambassador most frequently (127 times or 61% of the total postings), with Liberia topping the country list with eight (8). The Caribbean has been the other active region with 12 Black American ambassadorial appointments; while the United Nations has also seen several Black Americans serve it as U.S. Permanent Representative with the rank of Ambassador, having hosted eight (8) across its portfolio of agencies. Read more about the careers and legacy of African-American ambassadors.




ben_cool (2)Navigating this Website

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’s mission is to capture, preserve and share the experiences of America’s diplomats to enrich the professional knowledge of practitioners and strengthen public appreciation of diplomacy’s contribution to America’s security. It achieves this mission by recording the oral histories of diplomatic practitioners, helping them prepare and publish books and memoirs, contributing to the development of case studies, supporting the work of the Foreign Service Institute and taking educational programs to citizens of all ages.

Over the past quarter century ADST has completed more than 2000 oral histories, also posted on the Library of Congress website. To read the oral histories, please go to the top of this page. Click on the third link, “Oral History,” and the drop-down menu will take you to the Oral History page, Country Readers (with excerpts about specific countries), Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History (highlights of the oral histories), Fascinating Figures and more. You can identify specific topics, people or countries mentioned in the Moments using Google Search. If you access the Moments from the drop-down menu, you can also search using categories and tags.

To meet ADST’s staff and Board of Directors, please look at the second link, “About ADST”.  “About ADST” will also tell you about ADST internships and how to apply for them. Explore!

Please consider supporting our vital work of interviewing, transcribing, editing and archiving U.S. diplomatic oral history by making a donation to ADST or volunteer to be interviewed or to assist ADST in other ways.



Our Sponsors

Clements logo Cox foundation statedept_logofinalDACOR logo  AFSA_logoChevron-corporation