With this issue Bill Kiehl’s valuable service to American Diplomacy formally comes to a close. Over the past seven years, Bill was my immediate predecessor as Editor and my colleague as Contributing Editor for Books over the past seven years. We will all sorely miss his contributions under the masthead but take comfort in his continuing presence on our Board.
But I take special comfort in noting with confidence that this latest passage in his life after the Foreign Service will assuredly not find him pondering his next course of action. Because he has never yet found himself in a position to fret.
Even the most casual reading of Bill’s bio in American Diplomacy offers an exemplary foreign service career, topping off a State Department Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary position with a Diplomat in Residence tenure at the Army War College.
However our close personal friendship, forged while serving in neighboring Warsaw Pact countries —Budapest and Prague—during the twilight of fading communist rule has offered me additional perspective on his post retirement activities; specifically, useful insight into Bill’s response to the life challenge facing us all at the close of our stimulating and purposeful careers.
In addition to his valuable contributions to American Diplomacy as Editor and Books Editor, he has served as Executive Director and later Treasurer of the Public Diplomacy Council for which he also edited two anthologies of public diplomacy materials; edited a commemorative book for the Thai Foreign Ministry on the 175th anniversary of US-Thai diplomatic relations; served three TDY excursion tours for the State Department to fill post vacancies in Norway, Montenegro and Haiti; dabbled in politics as county co-chair of the 2008 McCain Campaign; served as an election official for the past decade, and, more recently, writes a regular Op-Ed column for the Lancaster, PA newspapers.
Along the way he has also completed a Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and published a book on college internationalization based on his dissertation.
And he continues to fit in plenty of travel to whittle away at his bucket list of adventures.
In short, he has happily demonstrated a firm grasp of a life lived more abundantly.
We all wish him Godspeed as his journey continues to unfold.
Csaba T. Chikes