Search Results for leadership

Celebrating the Leadership of America’s Ambassadors of African Descent

Ask any five people on an American college campus or maybe even on the streets of any major city, to name the first Black American that comes to their mind when they think of U.S. foreign affairs. I can almost guarantee that the majority of them will mention the names of either Secretaries of State, […]

In Ambassador We Don’t Trust: Working Under the Leadership of the Infamous Turner Shelton

As movies like “The Devil Wore Prada” attest, bad bosses can make everyone’s life miserable (and can be quite entertaining for those who don’t have to work for them). When he served in Managua, Nicaragua, James Cheek had a front-row seat to Ambassador Turner Shelton, whom he describes as “the worst of the worst.” Shelton was […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Foreign Service, Humorous, Western Hemisphere Tagged , , |
Frank Carlucci: Helping Block the Communists in Portugal

After decades of right-wing dictatorship, Portugal faced a threat of a takeover by communists in the mid-1970s.  Ambassador Frank Carlucci, who went on to become Secretary of Defense, headed up efforts to prevent the first loss of a NATO member state to the alliance’s political and ideological foes.  That meant engaging with parties and politicians […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Sheila Platt: A Diplomatic Life Bridging Both Sides of China’s Divide

Few Americans have met personally with the leadership of both Mao Zedong’s China and Chiang Kai-shek’s Taiwan. Sheila Platt, and her husband Nicholas Platt, are among that select group.  Sheila Platt dropped out of Radcliffe in 1957 to join her Foreign Service husband in a storied diplomatic career that led him to ambassadorships in Zambia, […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Whistle-Blowing on American Corruption in Russia

USAID unearthed a major corruption scandal in Russia in the late 1990s involving Harvard University’s Institute for International Development.  Dr. Janet Ballantyne, USAID’s mission director, blew the whistle. In her oral history, Ballantyne discusses the consternation this caused with U.S. Embassy leadership, and the repercussions of her reporting on relationships with key Russian officials. Throughout […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Travelling with First Lady Hillary Clinton to Romania: “She was Quite Incredible.”

As First Lady, Hillary Clinton traveled extensively to Central and Eastern Europe in order to foster ties with foreign governments and NGOs. She often selected a group of USAID staff to accompany her on these trips so they could give her advice about the different groups operating in the region. Barbara Turner accompanied the First […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
The “Blood Telegram” That Angered Henry Kissinger: Violence in East Pakistan/Bangladesh

Shortly after joining USAID in 1969, Desaix “Terry” Meyers found himself witnessing both the aftermath of a major natural disaster, and the devastating levels of sectarian violence that followed in East Pakistan in the early 1970s. After a cyclone hit Pakistan in the fall of 1970, killing over 500,000 people, a famine ensued. This particular […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Witness to the Start of Sri Lanka’s Brutal Civil War

The Sri Lankan Civil War was one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent times, claiming the lives of nearly 100,000 people. Foreign Service Officer Dorothy Black was posted in Sri Lanka in the early years of the conflict (1983-86) and recalls a time of constant tension, political intransigence, and death.  Terrorists routinely placed plastic bombs […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Keeping Kissinger Current at the Outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War

Ted Feifer wrote daily briefs for Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the outbreak of Lebanon’s civil war in 1975.  By the time it ended in approximately 1990, the war had claimed the lives of over 120,000 civilians.  Feifer was on his first tour in the Foreign Service, which found him working in the State […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
The United States and South Africa: The Binational Commission in the Years Following Apartheid

Directly following the election of Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa in 1994, the U.S. government began to work closely with the new South African leadership to facilitate development efforts. Before Mandela’s election, South Africa’s apartheid system and U.S. laws hindered U.S. aid. However, after the election of President Mandela, the binational “Gore-Mbeki Commission” […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History