Tag Archives for Leadership

Below are all Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History tagged with, "Leadership".

The Road to Madrid — James Baker and the Middle East Peace Talks

The Madrid Peace Conference, held from October 30 to November 1, 1991, marked the first time that Israeli leaders negotiated face to face with delegations from Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and, most importantly, with the Palestinians. The George H.W. Bush Administration believed there was a window of opportunity to use the political capital generated by the […]

The Power of a Talking Point: The Work of Ambassador Thomas Miller in Morocco

All too often in the State Department, people can lose hope that their efforts matter and come to believe that the main reason for their existence is simply to create an endless stream of memos, briefing materials, and government forms, and push them through the bureaucracy. It is too easy to forget that “we are a […]

Operation Winter Warmth – Helping Armenia in Its Darkest Hour

When Armenia gained its independence after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, it was in dire straits. It was in the midst of a bitter war with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, its borders with Turkey were closed, which prevented the transshipment of goods. Civil unrest reigned in neighboring Georgia, where bandits would frequently steal from […]

Rebel With a Cause — Struggling with the Armenian Genocide

2015 marks the 100th anniversary of what a number of international organizations, countries, and even some U.S. states formally recognize as the Armenian Genocide of 1915, the Ottoman government’s planned extermination of minority Armenians inside present-day Turkey. Historians estimate that the Armenian Genocide resulted in 800,000 to 1.5 million deaths, as well as thousands of […]

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. […]

The Irrepressible Prudence Bushnell

As a teenage daughter of a Foreign Service Officer who moved his family from country to country every so often, Prudence Bushnell frequently complained that the Foreign Service ruined her life. It is ironic then — poetic even — that as destiny would have it, Bushnell found herself in Dakar, Senegal, in 1981 on her […]

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 […]

Diplomatic Insecurity: The State Department Leaves the U.S. Embassy in Morocco in Peril

Threats against embassies are an ongoing concern that heads of mission, especially in certain parts of the world like the Middle East, must contend with on an ongoing basis. In the post-9/11 world, the State Department has been proactive in building bomb-resistant embassies, beefing up security along the perimeter, and taking steps to ensure the […]

“Our Man is Inside” — The U.S. Ambassador, Kidnapped at a Reception

In Latin America, the mid to late 20th Century was a time characterized by military governments, guerrilla movements, and intense political turmoil — which often led to intense political drama. On February 27, 1980, the Colombian socialist guerrilla group known as the April 19th Movement, or M-19, burst into the Dominican Embassy in Bogota during a […]

Rehabilitating Former Child Soldiers in Mozambique

Mozambique in the 1980s was a country in the midst of a bloody civil war, when at least 100,000 people were slaughtered in the span of ten years. Both sides, FRELIMO, the National Front for the Liberation of Mozambique, and RENAMO, Mozambique National Resistance, used child soldiers. These children, as well as other children who […]