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And Know the Place for the First Time

my path 

Above is part of my once and future path to work.  I get off at Smithsonian and walk around 15 minutes.  Not bad.  The gravel part is like Al Asad.  Otherwise, there are few similarities.

What you do is a truer reflection of your values than what you say or even what you truly think you believe.  My pattern of choices always brings me back to the same core skills and keeps me in the FS, where my idiosyncrasies are not merely tolerated but occasionally rewarded.

When I volunteered to go to Iraq, I figured this would be my last FS assignment.  After that I could retire honorably and do it happily.  The FS has an up or out system and I thought I would be out next year.  They screwed up my plans by promoting me and leading me into more career temptation than I could resist.  My pattern of choices once again reveals my true preferences and I will be back where I began, chaining my bike to the same parking meter, running on the same Mall path and lifting weights at the same Gold’s Gym, but doing different work.  I accepted the position of director of the policy group at International Information Programs.  I will move to a new office in the same building - from director of IIP/S (speakers) to director of IIP/P (policy).  I will just make the move via a sojourn in Iraq and I am content with both the journey and the destination.  I have lots of friends there.

"We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time."

TS Elliott stopped too soon.  We only know the place until we set off again.  Someday I will be finished, but not today.


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Comments

Congrats!

Congrats on your appointment!

This blog is a great model for other FSOs to follow. You should encourage others to do the same in your future position with IIP/P. Blogs like this provide Americans and the world a better idea of what the great work FSOs do on a daily basis.

I'm also a great supporter of the Rapid Response Unit, Digital Outreach, Counter-terrorism Communications Center to:
- Engage key audiences
- Be present for the debate
- Counter misinformation and myths

One suggestion for your next assignment: State made some big strides in public diplomacy and strategic communications under Hughes, particularly in employing the internet, social networking and the blogosphere. These gains can be consolidated and amplified by improving the link-up between State, Defense, Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security and other agencies to take an enterprise-wide approach to public diplomacy and strategic communications across the USG. This approach should focus on sharing best practices, coordinating efforts to increase coverage and decrease overlap, and changing the culture to empower and encourage officials of all agencies at ever lower levels to be public diplomats.

Charlie

From John

Thanks. You seem to know a lot about our work.

Jake, congratulations on your new position!! You are too young & too smart to retire. Your trees will wait for you!! Barbi


John replies

Trees always wait. I would not have retired, just found different sorts of work. Thanks for the note.

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