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Tag teaming Ambassadors

A husband and wife ambassador team leave soon for Armenia. The UK has found a solution to the challenge of "trailing" foreign service spouses. [more inside]
posted by k8t on Aug 21, 2011 - 16 comments

You wait until wheels-up, because that's what you do

"Meanwhile, Important Politician stretches out in his business class seat and listens to his wife talk about the pearls! And the silk scarves! And the amazing food! And IP thinks back to that Foreign Service Officer he just met. And he thinks: what a great life that guy has! He goes to parties at the President's mansion. He drinks fancy wine. He drives around in air conditioned motorcades, with people saluting him as he walks into government buildings. He goes hiking - in the middle of a work day, even! - on the Great Wall. What a cushy life he leads, thinks Important Politician." A proposed pay cut is not going down well with some Foreign Service Officers.
posted by vidur on Feb 26, 2011 - 13 comments

Language courses, courtesy of the United States government (and some devoted language learners)

FSI Language Courses
posted by anjamu on Aug 17, 2006 - 36 comments

Send me someplace sunny...

Campaign Contributions and U.S. Ambassadors
In 1972 President Nixon appointed thirteen noncareer ambassadors to Western European countries; eight of them had contributed at least $50,000 to his reelection campaign...(-Source, scroll to item 2.)
In 1980 a federal law was created to combat this, stating that ambassadors must "possess clearly demonstrated competence, including, to the maximum extent practicable, a useful knowledge of the principal language or dialect of the country in which the individual is to serve, and knowledge and understanding of the history, the culture, the economic and political institutions and the interest of that country and its people. … Contributions to political campaigns should not be a factor in the appointment."
Currently 1/4 to 1/3 of U.S. Ambassadors are noncareer appointees, not experienced diplomats, causing criticism since the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Critics point out that neither the Pentagon, the CIA nor any other U.S. government agency must shoulder the burden of a significant cadre of "nonprofessionals" encumbering senior field positions. (-Source.)

HERE is the current tally of Embassy Row and their campaign contributions, including Clark Randt, Jr, former Geo W Yale fraternity brother who defended Bush against drug allegations during Bush's last campaign. "Rangers" and "Pioneers" abound. Mauritius is sunny, tropical, and expensive. (Inspired by this AskMe question.)
posted by Shane on Oct 14, 2004 - 14 comments

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