American Diplomacy
Foreign Service Life

December 2000

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Letter from Niger

Peace Corps Adventures in the Sahara
Nov 30

    We are pleased to offer our readers the latest of a very special series of letters and photos from a regular collaborator, friend, and former U.S. ambassador now posted to Niger as Peace Corps Director.

When I arrived in Niger as the new Peace Corps director, I knew I had a lot to learn about this vast and varied country nearly twice the size of Texas. And since all of our 100-plus volunteers are stationed in rural villages and small towns, I was eager to get out of the capital, Niamey, to begin meeting them.” [FULL TEXT]

Latest on State Department Reform
Nov 17

    Stephanie S. Kinney, who contributed a most interesting study of Foreign Service attitudes and opinions to the Summer 2000 issue of the journal, sent us an “Open Forum” notice describing recent reform-related developments in Foggy Bottom.

The unfortunate reality . . . is that the Department of State is ill-equipped and ill-prepared to meet the foreign policy challenges of the 21st century. . . . As concerned professionals of the Department of State, we call on both political parties to recognize the strategic importance of a responsive, focused, and well-provisioned Department of State. We ask their bipartisan help to forge a revitalized and modernized foreign affairs institution that is fully trained, prepared and equipped to carry out the foreign policy of the next president of the United States.” [FULL TEXT]

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