Elsewhere in American Diplomacy you will find reference to the esprit de corps of the Foreign Service and its importance as a morale factor, especially in these times of reform efforts. I quite imagine this spirit of pride remains strong among America’s diplomats despite the various problems and vicissitudes of recent years. As Ambassador George Kennan has expressed it, “Foreign Service work breeds its own morale . . . far more devoted than is generally recognized,” (see the quote at http://www.americandiplomacy.org/, the journal’s splash page, for its source.)
We at American Diplomacy also have pride in our own group: pride in our people, not only the staff (note their names and pictures under “About American Diplomacy”), but also the policy-direction body that oversees our operation. I refer to the board of directors of the journal’s parent corporation, American Diplomacy Publishers.
Following the launching in September 1996 of American Diplomacy as a path-breaking electronic journal in the field of U. S. foreign affairs, the then-publisher and then- and still-editor sought to formalize the operation by incorporating under state law as a non-profit organization, one that would qualify to receive tax-deductible contributions under the U. S. Federal tax code. To that end, in the latter half of 1997 a group of nine individuals—all but one of whom were retired U. S. Foreign Service personnel—met in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, drew up by-laws, and constituted themselves a board of directors with initial two-year terms of office. In time American Diplomacy Publishers resulted, incorporated officially as a non-profit organization under North Carolina law on January 5, 1998.
Since then, three board members have declined renomination to further terms and we lost a colleague, Ambassador Francis Underhill, through his unfortunate death three years ago. But overall the board has remained remarkably stable while at the same time expanding. The body most recently elected four new members at its quarterly board meeting on July 8, 2002, raising the number to twenty-two, including eight of the original nine.
Here’s a suggestion as to why we have high organizational morale; following in demographic terms is an indication of the reasons for our pride in the membership of the board:
- Ten of the board members (forty-five percent) have extensive Foreign Service backgrounds, still on active duty (one member) or retired (nine);
- four members (eighteen percent) have significant Foreign Service experience combined with other professional backgrounds;
- five (twenty-three percent) follow academic careers related to international affairs, both active (four) and retired (one); and
- three have combined military and academic careers.
A thoroughly experienced and distinguished assemblage. My colleagues have always shown themselves adept at choosing and welcoming to our enterprise new members who have a strong backgrounds in foreign affairs.
I will refrain from pushing the envelope too far on credentials, but cannot omit a few perhaps indicative items of information: The number of years board members spent in the Foreign Service totals something well over 300. Seven board members received appointments at the ambassadorial level. Ten board members hold earned doctorates, and I hesitate to think how many post-graduate degrees in all that members have amassed.
American Diplomacy Publishers boasts the following officers:
Ambassador William N. Dale, elected president in April 2002, and Ambassador Jeanette W. Hyde, elected vice president at that same board meeting. Treasurer R. Bartlett Moon and Secretary J. Edgar Williams have been in office for several years.
For your information, and for the record, I list below the other current members of the corporation’s board:
American Diplomacy Board of Directors
Chapel Hill, N.C., July 8, 2002
Dr. James L Abrahamson of Fearrington Village (Pittsboro), N. C.
Dr. Samuel H. Barnes of Georgetown University, Washing ton, D. C.
Dr. Paul H. Carew of Fearrington Village, N. C.
Amb. Michael W. Cotter of Fearrington Village, N. C.
Judge William A. Creech of Raleigh, N. C.
Mr. Carl R. Fritz of Chapel Hill, N. C.
Dr. John M Handley of Campbell University, Buies Creek, N. C.
Amb. William C. Harrop of Washington, D. C.
Dr. Michael H. Hunt of the University of N. C.- Chapel Hill
Mr. Curtis F. Jones of Chapel Hill, N. C.
Dr. Richard H. Kohn of the University of N. C.- Chapel Hill
Amb. Edward Marks of Washington, D. C.
Dr. Roy M. Melbourne of Durham, N. C.
Amb. Ronald D. Palmer of George Washington University, Washington, D. C.
Dr. Rorin Platt of Campbell University, Buies Creek, N. C.
Dr. Alex Roland of Duke University, Durham, N. C.
Amb. Brenda B. Schoonover of the U. S. Embassy, Brussels, Belgium
And finally, yours truly, Dr. Henry E. Mattox of Chapel Hill, N.C.