Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What are the Qualifications to be an Ambassador?


Washington, D.C. – All Americans have a vested interest in the effective management of U.S. embassies and missions. The strong leadership of our Ambassadors and Chiefs of Mission is crucial for the success of U.S. foreign policy and maintaining our standing in the world. With that in mind, the American Foreign Service Association convened a committee of ten former chiefs of mission, comprised of career and non-career ambassadors, to identify the requisite qualifications and experience that every chief of mission nominee should possess to enable him or her to succeed.
On February 25 at 11:00 a.m., AFSA will release the “Guidelines for Successful Performance as a Chief of Mission” in a teleconference. AFSA President Robert J. Silverman, AFSA Vice President Matthew K. Asada and four committee members will be available to take questions:
 Anthony S. Harrington is former Ambassador to Brazil under the Clinton Administration. He also served as Chairman of the President's Intelligence Oversight Board and as Vice Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
 James F. Jeffrey is former Ambassador to Turkey (2008-2010) and Iraq (2010-2012). He also served as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor in the George W. Bush Administration.
 Laura Kennedy was appointed by President George W. Bush as Ambassador to Turkmenistan (2001-03). President Obama appointed her U.S. Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva
 Charles A. Ray served as Ambassador to Cambodia and Zimbabwe. From 2006 to 2009, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel.
Journalists who wish to join the teleconference should call 866-939-3921 or 678-302-3550 at 10:45 a.m. The guidelines, an overview document, and bios of all working group members will be available on the AFSA web site ( at 9:30 a.m. on the day of the teleconference. For journalists who would like to schedule in-person interv