foreign service officer

As strangers lined up for white ribbons and American flags to show their support, family and friends of Anne Smedinghoff mourned the loss of a young diplomat who was determined to see the world — and possibly beyond. Her brother, Mark, recalled Monday talking to her after the U.S. landed a space probe on Mars last August and how excited she was about space travel.

The State Department, still reeling from the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya last fall, on Sunday mourned a 25-year-old diplomat killed a day earlier on a mission with the U.S. military in southern Afghanistan. Five other Americans were killed in the same attack. Elsewhere in the country, a U.S. civilian adviser and several insurgents were killed in a clash Saturday in Afghanistan's eastern Kunar province. Afghan officials said that battle was followed by a U.S. airstrike that claimed the lives of 11 Afghan children.

Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations Master of Arts student, Stephanie Parenti, recently published an op-ed in The Globalized World Post, an up-and-coming international relations blog, discussing alignment politics in the former Soviet Union. This accomplishment marks one of many milestones on her journey to the Foreign Service.

In his first day at the office as secretary of state on Monday, John Kerry sought to send the message that he had an affinity for the nation’s diplomats and would look after their security. “Exhilarating to walk into @StateDept today,” Mr. Kerry, who is the son of a diplomat, posted on Twitter. “Dad on mind! JK.”

Eugenie Moore Anderson emerged a trailblazer for American women in international diplomacy during the post-World War II era. In 1949 she became the first American woman to hold the rank of ambassador. Helen Eugenie Moore, who went by Eugenie, was born in Adair, Iowa, in 1909. After attending Simpson College, Moore left Iowa and transferred to Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where she planned on a career in music.

Canada’s foreign affairs department is reportedly taking steps to ensure its diplomats can really punch above their weight on the world stage. The Globe and Mail reports on its website that the department is looking for martial-arts instructors to train its envoys. A public tender says ambassadors sent to certain higher-risk countries must know rudimentary “reactive techniques to manage confrontations in potentially dangerous situations.”

Steven Lee Adams will soon be receiving a large crate at his studio in Mapleton containing a painting he loaned to the U.S. ambassador to South Africa three years ago. His painting has been hanging in the embassy there as part of the Art in Embassies Program.

But the truth is that there is no real work/private life separation for CIA spooks, Foreign Service diplomats and anyone else with a top-secret security clearance that gives them access to classified information. As the director of the CIA, Petraeus is a huge fish, but even much lower level government employees have seen their careers go up in smoke based upon allegations of infidelity.