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Career DiplomacyCareer Diplomacy

Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service

Harry W. Kopp and Charles A. Gillespie

Narrated by Wayne Shepherd

Available from Audible

Book published by Georgetown University Press

Career Diplomacy — now in its second edition — is an insider's guide that examines the foreign service as an institution, a profession, and a career. Harry W. Kopp and Charles A. Gillespie, both of whom had long and distinguished careers in the foreign service, provide a full and well-rounded picture of the organization, its place in history, its strengths and weaknesses, and its role in American foreign affairs. Based on their own experiences and through interviews with over 100 current and former foreign service officers and specialists, the authors lay out what to expect in a foreign service career, from the entrance exam through midcareer and into the senior service—how the service works on paper, and in practice.

The second edition addresses major changes that have occurred since 2007: the controversial effort to build an expeditionary foreign service to lead the work of stabilization and reconstruction in fragile states; deepening cooperation with the U.S. military and the changing role of the service in Iraq and Afghanistan; the ongoing surge in foreign service recruitment and hiring at the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development; and the growing integration of USAID's budget and mission with those of the Department of State.


“Current, dispassionate, and accurate, Career Diplomacy is the must-read book for those seeking understanding of today's Foreign Service. From traditional diplomacy to work in the provinces of Afghanistan and Iraq, it is all here.”

—Ronald E. Neumann, former ambassador and president, American Academy of Diplomacy

Career Diplomacy introduces readers to one of the most interesting and challenging professions—diplomacy—and one that most Americans know very little about. The book is one of the few on the subject and a great resource for anyone considering a Foreign Service career.”

—Susan Johnson, president, American Foreign Service Association

“Rare are the books that can appeal to several audiences, but Career Diplomacy: Life and Work in the U.S. Foreign Service is one of them. Former Foreign Service officers Harry W. Kopp and Charles A. Gillespie have given us a crisp, often witty, overview of the diplomatic profession, complete with a useful glossary and bibliography ... this volume should be of interest to the general reading public, aspiring diplomats and practicing FSOs alike.”

Foreign Service Journal

Career Diplomacy may not be required reading for experienced foreign affairs professionals or jaded FSO insiders. As an introduction to the profession for the layperson or for anyone considering a commitment to the Foreign Service career, however, the book is authoritative, complete and indispensable. For the rest of us, it's a delight, a stylishly told reminder of who we are, what we do and where we may be heading.”

American Diplomacy

Career Diplomacy is the best description of life in the foreign service—its challenges, dangers, satisfactions, and fun—I have ever seen. It paints a superb picture of life abroad and at home, including both its good and bad aspects, and does a brilliant job of pointing out how our diplomacy must change if it is to meet the tremendous changes and challenges of the twenty-first century.”

—Lawrence S. Eagleburger, former Secretary of State

“Frank, incisive, and a good read, this book told me many things I never really understood about the foreign service. I don't know how we got along without it.”

—John R. Galvin, former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and former commander-in-chief, U.S. European Command

“This book is a gem, a one-stop shop for citizens, U.S. officials, foreign diplomats, and prospective American foreign service officers who want to understand how American diplomacy and foreign policy are organized and conducted. This carefully structured and well-written volume features rich and balanced insights into the foreign service, and sheds a clear light on its three core functions of representation, overseas operations, and policy. Essential reading on the culture and institutions of American diplomacy and on the ins and outs of working in a foreign service career. ”

—Chester A. Crocker, James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies, Georgetown University

All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks