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Editorial Corner

We believe it possibly useful and interesting for our readers to know something about the backgrounds of the members of American Diplomacy’s editorial review board and staff.

Holding that thought, for what it may be worth, we have prepared for this issue of our journal the following five brief biographic sketches on certain of those individuals. As we proceed with this exercise, especially in subsequent presentations, the reader will note that some of our colleagues have been around longer than others, and therefore almost necessarily have entries that take up more space. Such is the “advantage” of being associated with the formulation, practice, and study of U. S. diplomacy over an extended period of time.

We begin with the senior Foreign Service officer (in terms of years) on the board of American Diplomacy, Dr. Roy Melbourne. Career summaries on personnel other than those treated below will follow in the next issue of the journal.

~ Ed.

Roy M. Melbourne

Roy Melbourne, member of the Editorial Advisory Board of American Diplomacy, hails originally from Pennsylvania, where he was born in 1913. He had a long, action-packed career as a U. S. Foreign Service office, beginning in 1936. He saw at first hand three major political coups––in Romania during the 1940s, Iran in the ’50s, and Iraq in the ’60s. Preceding those experiences, after an initial assignment as vice consul at Montreal, he found himself assigned to the U. S. consulate at Kobe, Japan, at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The Japanese immediately interned him and all other Allied diplomats; following six months of uncertainty about his fate, Roy, along with the other members of the diplomatic and consular corps, was exchanged, proceeding from Japan to East Africa.

Two tours of duty, in Turkey and then Romania, followed during the war and immediately afterward. Subsequent to a post-war year in Rome as an Embassy political officer, Roy took charge of Balkan affairs in the Department of State, 1948-1950, after which he attended the National War College in Washington (he was to return twenty years later as acting deputy commandant). The next five years saw him heading the Embassy political section at Embassy Tehran and then serving as counselor of Embassy and consul general at Berne, Switzerland. In the late 1950s, Roy held a senior position with the National Security Council for three years before proceeding abroad once again.

In 1959, the Foreign Service named him counselor at Embassy Helsinki and in 1962, to that position at Embassy Baghdad. At both posts he served considerable periods of time as chargé d’affaires. Returning to the Department of State in 1963, he held first a senior position at the Foreign Service Institute and subsequently served as director of West African affairs. Following two years on the staff of the War College, he retired from the Foreign Service with thirty-five years of service.

Having previously earned a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Pennsylvania (1951), along with a bachelor’s degree from Penn and an M. A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Roy taught full time at the university level for several years after retiring from the practice of diplomacy. In recent years he held the position of Diplomat in Residence at Duke University. His autobiography, Conflict and Crisis: A Foreign Service Story (1993), will be reissued in paperback this year. He and his wife, Virginia, now reside in Durham, North Carolina.

Curtis F. Jones

Curt Jones also serves as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of American Diplomacy. Born in Maine in 1921, he graduated from Bowdoin College in 1942, served three years in the U. S. army during World War II, and entered the Foreign Service in June 1946. Building upon his study of Arabic in the army’s language program, the Department of State posted him to Beirut, where he resumed training as a Middle East specialist.

After completion of area studies, Curt served abroad successively as economic officer in Lebanon and Ethiopia, as political officer in Libya, Syria, and again Lebanon, as consul in Egypt, and as consul general in South Yemen and Muscat and Oman. In addition, he held an assignment as the U. S. representative to the UN Commission on Libya. On three Washington tours of duty in the Department of State over the years, Curt filled the positions of intelligence analyst for Egypt and the Sudan, officer in charge of Egyptian and Syrian affairs, and director of the Office of Intelligence for North Africa, the Near East, and South Asia.

Curt received two Department of State Superior Honor Awards, one in 1967 for his service in South Yemen during the violent pre-independence period, and the second in 1973 for his office’s intelligence coverage of the Yom Kippur War. He was a member of the Department of State team that flew to Khartoum in 1973 in connection with the murder of two American diplomats by Arab terrorists.

Curt Jones’s academic credentials include, in addition to a degree from Bowdoin, a year each at the University of Pennsylvania and the Naval War College, and study at George Washington University, where he earned an M. A. in international relations. Since retirement from the Foreign Service in 1975, he has written and lectured widely on foreign policy. Curt lives with his wife, Betty, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

William N. Dale

Another Chapel Hill resident and Editorial Advisory Board member, Ambassador Bill Dale had a long diplomatic career similar in some respects to those of Roy Melbourne and Curt Jones. Born in Washington, D. C., in 1919, Bill earned B. A. and M. A. degrees at Harvard University and then in 1942 entered the U. S. navy for duty in World War II. Discharged in 1946 with the rank of lieutenant (senior grade) after service overseas, he entered the Foreign Service that same year. There followed over the next twenty-nine years, six posts abroad and a series of progressively more senior assignments in Washington.

Postings abroad included the U. S. embassies at Copenhagen and Ottawa early in his career, followed by service as first secretary of embassy at London in the 1950s, counselor of embassy at Ankara, 1960-1964, and deputy chief of mission and chargé at Embassy Tel Aviv, 1964-1968.

During the period through the mid-1970s, alternating service abroad with postings in Washington, as is more or less usual for Foreign Service officers, Bill held such positions as desk officer for Canada, staff member on the National Security Council (during two different tours, 1951-1953 and 1968-1969), officer in charge of United Kingdom and Irish affairs, 1956-1957, deputy director of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs, 1957-1959, and deputy assistant secretary of state, 1969-1973. Additionally, he attended the NATO Defense College in Paris and the National War College in Washington, D. C. His career culminated with appointment as U. S. ambassador to the Central African Republic from 1973 to 1975.

Active in retirement in lecturing, writing, and civic affairs, Bill has a special interest in the United Nations Association. He and his wife, Mary, live only a stone’s throw from the University of North Carolina campus.

Robert W. Mattox

Recently promoted to Director of Information Systems in the Department of State’s Office of Foreign Missions, Robert has been with the Department since 1980. At that time, having just completed requirements for a B. A. at American University in Washington in International Affairs, he began service as an administrative assistant (he later earned a master’s degree from the same university). His functional title at State now is supervisory systems analyst in computer operations. As one of our technical advisors, he has proven to be of great assistance in getting American Diplomacy off the ground.

Robert grew up in the U. S. Foreign Service, the son of yours truly, the editor of this journal. Born in 1958 in France at Neuilly-sur-Seine, near Paris, he has lived for extended periods of time in France, Portugal, Brazil, and Nepal. He and his wife, Johara, have traveled widely in parts of the world perhaps too numerous to mention here. They live in Washington, D. C.

T. Frank Crigler

Last for this issue of American Diplomacy but not least, we present a biographic sketch of the journal’s co-founder and publisher. Ambassador Frank Crigler entered the U. S. Foreign Service in 1961, and retired in 1990 after almost thirty years of service. Included in his assignments were appointments as American envoy to Rwanda in the late 1970s and to Somalia a decade later. He hailed originally from Arizona, where he was born in 1935. Before entering on duty as a Foreign Service officer, he earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard University.

Assigned first to the Department of State as an intelligence analyst for Latin America, Frank next served at the U. S. consulate general at Guadalajara, Mexico, and then Embassy Mexico City, where he returned in 1974-1976 as a political officer. For the period 1966 to 1971, he held assignments in Africa: political officer at Embassy Kinshasa and and principal officer at Consulates Bukavu and Kisangani, Zaire; economic officer and chargé at Embassy Libreville, Gabon. In addition to his ambassadorial appointments in Africa, Frank served abroad also as deputy chief of mission and chargé at the U. S. embassy at Bogota, 1979-1981.

Washington assignments, aside from his initial position as intelligence analyst, included political advisor to the U. S. ambassador to the Organization of American States, American Political Science Fellow with the U. S. Congress, Director of Mexican Affairs in State (1981-1983), and senior Foreign Service inspector, based in Washington (1983-1986).

After retiring, Frank taught international affairs at Simmons College in Boston for two years. As a private consultant in foreign relations, he has expressed his views on foreign policy issues frequently, especially with regard to Africa and Mexico, before the Congress, in the press, and on national television. Since 1996, when he moved with his wife, Bettie, to Durham, North Carolina, he has been associated with Duke University as a fellow with the Center for International Development Research — as well as with American Diplomacy.

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