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The ACDA-USIA Merger into State — The End of of an Era

As the Cold War began to go into full swing, the United States soon realized the need for distinct agencies that would operate outside of the existing federal executive departments. Accordingly, independent agencies such as the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and the United States Information Agency (USIA) were created in 1961 and […]

Artist Diplomat

Foreign Service Officers come from diverse backgrounds, yet share one common interest of promoting American interests abroad. However, how do diplomats utilize their unique experiences while in the field? Cynthia Farrell Johnson built important local connections through her talents as an artist and was coined an “artist diplomat.” While serving in Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Panama, […]

The Pursuit of Perfection: Dilemmas in the Foreign Service

Capturing, preserving, and sharing the experiences of America’s diplomats. ADST’s maxim perfectly encapsulates the diverse nature of a Foreign Service career that arguably makes every officer’s professional journey unique. And yet, underlying the idiosyncratic nature of these experiences are undoubtedly core values and challenges that unite most—if not all—individuals in this particular field. This is […]

Dinner with Imelda: Encounters with the Philippines’ Most Famous Dictatorship

In the wake of the Cold War, dictatorial regimes sprang up throughout the world, capturing international attention with news of authoritarianism and human rights violations. One such regime was the dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos in the Philippines. The regime was guilty of countless abuses, but Imelda Marcos worked ceaselessly to shift the focus […]

We are the World: Development Support in Africa

The work of the U.S. Foreign Service encompasses more than just advancing U.S. interests abroad. A critical part of it remains the mission of development support to the host country. In many instances, this mission is achieved through not only diplomatic meetings and negotiation, but also through music. After the song We Are the World […]

Looking through the American Lens: Photography USA Exhibit in the Soviet Union

During the prolonged years of the Cold War, USIA [United States Information Agency] executed over a dozen exhibits highlighting components of American life to be shared with the people of numerous cities throughout the Soviet Union. Ranging from areas of transportation, to education, to medicine, these exhibits introduced the citizens of the USSR to America’s […]