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Lawrence S. Eagleburger, former Secretary of State
“The best description of life in the foreign service—its challenges, dangers, satisfactions, and fun—I have ever seen. It paints a superb picture of life abroad and at home, including both its good and bad aspects, and does a brilliant job of pointing out how our diplomacy must change if it is to meet the tremendous changes and challenges of the twenty-first century.”

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coverWhether America’s diplomacy succeeds or fails depends heavily on its foreign service professionals. The U.S. Foreign Service is little known or understood, but Career Diplomacy fills the gap. It is an insider’s guide that explains the service as an institution, a profession, and a career.

Career Diplomacy is a candid discussion of the challenges facing this country’s diplomats, including tension between politics and professionalism; maintaining credibility when policies change; dealing with Congress on policy, legislation, and budgets; and working in Washington and the field with other U.S. government agencies and with the U.S. military. Career Diplomacy educates its readers about those who advance and protect U.S. interests around the globe. The book details who America’s professional diplomats are, their purpose and achievements, and the culture in which they operate. Invoking recent challenges in diplomacy—including a chapter on the foreign service at war in Iraq and Afghanistan—the authors explore how the service needs to change in the years to come. They also include several useful appendices, including the Department of State’s organization chart, core precepts of the foreign service, and a list of internet resources.

Authors Harry W. Kopp and Charles A. Gillespie, both of whom had long and distinguished careers in the foreign service, provide a full and well-rounded picture of the institution, its place in history, its strengths and weaknesses, and its role in American foreign affairs. Based on a primary and secondary sources, including interviews with more than 100 current and former members of the foreign service, the authors lay out what to expect in a foreign service career, from the entrance exam through midcareer and into the senior service.