Search Results for Foreign Service spouses

Note: Search results do not reflect all ADST resources. To view the full text of our oral histories, please visit our Library of Congress series, Frontline Diplomacy.

When  One of “The Murrow Boys” Became a Foreign Service Wife

Mary Marvin Breckinridge Patterson was the only female member of the original generation of CBS Radio war correspondents known as “The Murrow Boys.” A photojournalist and cinematographer, she studied French, German, Italian, and modern history at Vassar College. While there, she also helped found the National Student Federation of America, and in that way met […]

Rooted in the Good Earth: White, Protestant “China Brats” in the Foreign Service

A confluence of two rising movements in the early 1800s, Western outreach to China and reinvigorated Christian evangelism, led to a surge in missionaries going to China from the U.S., the UK and Europe. The Protestant and Catholic missionaries were initially restricted to living in an area now known as Guangzhou and Macau. They were […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, East Asia and Pacific, Foreign Service, Spouses and children Tagged |
The Battle to Create the Foreign Service Institute

The art of diplomatic relations and negotiations is as old as civilization itself. However, the State Department did not have any formal training facility until the Consular School of Application was founded in 1907. Then came the Wilson Diplomatic School (1909), the Foreign Service School (1924), the Foreign Service Officer’ Training School (1931) and the […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Foreign Service Tagged , , , , , |
House Un-American: Foreign-Born Wives of American Diplomats

Before World War II, there was a concern, particularly with upper-level Foreign Service officers like Ambassador William C. Bullitt, regarding American diplomats marrying foreign-born women. He used his influence with President Franklin Roosevelt to encourage a rule requiring FSO’s to submit their resignation and formally request permission to marry foreign spouses. Many people felt that […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Europe, Foreign Service, Spouses and children Tagged , |
“Drain Your Glass” — Alcoholism in the Foreign Service

Each and every job has a certain set of requirements and restrictions. Alcohol has played a large role in diplomacy, helping to lubricate relations at state receptions, meetings with heads of state, or just with other diplomats at the end of the day. Unfortunately, for some people, the constant exposure to alcohol and expectation to imbibe […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, China, Foreign Service Tagged , |
Cracking the Glass Ceiling: A Conversation with Foreign Service Women

Despite their education and background, women Foreign Service Officers in the 1950s and 60s faced discrimination and were often treated like second-class citizens. Even in the late 1960s, some ambassadors would object to a woman being posted to their embassies while female FSOs were sometimes expected to act as social secretary to the Ambassador’s wife. […]

Wives and Women in the Foreign Service: The Creation of the Family Liaison Office

A 1957 State Department publication of “Suggestions for Wives from Other Foreign Service Wives” introduced the idea that the main occupational role for wives was the support of their husbands. While never written into the formal regulations of the State Department, it was common practice for women employed in the Foreign Service to resign once […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Foreign Service, Human Rights, Spouses and children, Women and Minority FSOs Tagged , |
The Palmer Case and the Changing Role of Women in the Foreign Service

There have been a number of prominent women who have served in the State Department over the past century:  Francis Willis, the first female career Foreign Service Officer to become ambassador; Clare Booth Luce, a political appointee as Ambassador to Italy; Constance Ray Harvey, who was awarded the Medal of Freedom for her  work during World […]

Elinor Constable — “If you want me out of the Foreign Service, you have to fire me”

Elinor Constable had an illustrious career in the State Department from 1955 until 1993, serving not only as Ambassador to Kenya from 1986 to 1989 but also as the first woman Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Economic Bureau and as Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES). She […]

Foreign at Home and Away

Back to Diplomats and Diplomacy Foreign at Home and Away: Foreign-Born Wives in the U.S. Foreign Service “Margaret Bender has written an illuminating, highly readable book on the challenges that confront foreign-born spouses of U.S. Foreign Service officers. Her subjects are courageous, committed, and inspiring. . . . This engaging book, which I strongly recommend, […]