Search Results for women

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 […]

The Beijing Conference on Women

“If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”—First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton At the United Nations’ 4th World Conference on Women, which was held from September 4-15, 1995, several countries united in support […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, China, Human Rights Tagged , |
Soldiers, Please do not Touch the Ukrainian Women

Every November 10th, the United States Marine Corps celebrates its birthday with a traditional ball and cake-cutting ceremony. The first formal ball was celebrated in 1925 and by tradition, the first slice of cake is given to the oldest Marine present, who in turn hands it off to the youngest Marine present, symbolizing the old and experienced Marines […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Europe, Foreign Service, Humorous, Military Tagged |
Women in the Foreign Service – You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby!

It is remarkable to think that there have been three female Secretaries of State in the last 15 years.  However, the Foreign Service was not always so accommodating to women. Times were quite different in the Mad Men era — including the assumption that women should resign from the Service once they got married — […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History, Consular, Foreign Service, Humorous, Women and Minority FSOs
Thanksgiving: How U.S. Diplomats Celebrate an American Tradition Around the World

Gobble, gobble!  Thanksgiving is a unique American holiday —  one that U.S. embassies, foreign service families, and American expats of all kinds celebrate around the world.  We dipped into our oral history collection for some Thanksgiving memories. At its best, Thanksgiving is a celebration of food, family, friends, and cross-cultural exchange and understanding.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Stirrings of Islamic Militancy in Nigeria: An Ambassador’s Recollections

When Thomas Pickering was Ambassador to Nigeria in 1980-83, he witnessed the stirrings of Islamic militancy and other transformations of the centuries-old practice of Islam in that country.  Fringe fractions were emerging in some regions. The “Maitatsine,” loyal to Mohammed Marwa, whose followers believed him to be prophet, brought major rioting to Kano. Marwa was […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
USAID and American “Whole-of-Government” Efforts in Afghanistan, 2004-2005

USAID had to cooperate closely with the U.S. military and others in a “whole-of-government” effort to stabilize and develop Afghanistan in 2004-05.  That meant managing a $1 billion budget, working 16 hours days, and asking majors and lieutenant colonels to help plan and execute civilian projects.  For USAID mission director Patrick Fine, that also meant […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History
Embassies: “An Artifact of an Earlier Age?”

Do embassies still matter?  Donna Oglesby, a senior official at the United States Information Agency (before it was incorporated into the State Department), argues that globalization and the communications revolution make embassies and field officers more important than ever.   Donna Oglesby served 26 years in the Foreign Service, with a focus on Latin America. […]

Posted in A Moment in U.S. Diplomatic History