Tuesday, November 29, 2011

For historians/academics interested in Public Diplomacy (a growing "intellectual" cottage industry): Mr. Clean

True story, recollected as best he can by memory-challenged ex-PD (public diplomacy) Foreign Service officer John Brown

Place:  US State Department Human Resources

Time: Early 2000's

Persons Involved: No-Smiles Human Resources officer (NSHRO), sitting behind her desk in an office at Foggy Bottom; returning from overseas posting Public Diplomacy Foreign Service officer J. Brown (PDFSOJB)

NSHRO: So you are looking for a job now that you're back from Russia.

PDFSOJB: Yes, Madam.

(Moment of solemn silence. NSHRO prints out document.)

NSHRO (Looks at paper; then slowly raises eyes to PDFSOJB): You look pretty clean.

PDFSOJB: Thank you, madam.

NSHRO: In over twenty years [of service], all your postings abroad except one have been hardship posts. Not bad.

PDSOJB: Yes, madam. Thank you.

NSHRO: Only one and half years in Washington during that time -- not bad.

PDSOJB: Thank you, madam.

NSHRO: Yes, you look pretty clean.

PDSOJB: Thank you, madam. But why pretty [emphasis] clean?

NSHRO: But you are PD, aren't you?

Image from; see also John Brown, "Getting the People Part Right: A Report on the Human Resources Dimension of U.S. Public Diplomacy" (American Diplomacy, July 22, 2008)

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