Sunday, December 29, 2013

Olympic Truce

I've made no secret of the fact that I support using sports diplomacy to promote democracy and other political principles. So is it hypocritical of me to disapprove of the President and Vice President's decision not to attend the Olympics in Russia? I don't see it as a snub to Putin and Russia's policies against gays. Rather, I see it as a snub to the American athletes who trained hard to get there and deserve to see an American leader cheering them on.

Let's not politicize the Olympics.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


I once heard that the majority of Foreign Service Officers are strong Js. For those not familiar with Myers Briggs vernacular, that translates to hardcore planners. And yet, the foreign service lifestyle requires us to live with ambiguity. Ever since I received that letter from the State Department almost 9 years ago telling me to drop what I was doing and report to Washington 6 weeks later (this after more than a year of silence since passing the oral exam), I have grudgingly eased my compulsive need to control my fate.

I wonder why Js are drawn to this career, or why the Department seems to go after Js. We get new leadership every few years. Priorities change at the drop of a hat. There's a new strategic plan every year. Perhaps Js bring a necessary balance to a line of work that shifts gears every 5 minutes. If the foreign service replaced all the list-making Js with go-with-the-flow Ps, would chaos ensue or would the the Department actually thrive?