Few Americans outside our nation's capital may know about this day. However, last fall millions of citizens DID watch with admiration as Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and other Foreign Service Officers fulfilled their oath to defend the Constitution during testimony before Congress. Those televised hearings gave Americans an excellent look at the patriotism and non-partisan professionalism of our career diplomats, who normally toil behind the scenes.
Today, these same diplomats and their colleagues across a pandemic-stricken world are working around the clock to bring home tens of thousands of Americans stranded abroad. However, the Foreign Service and the Department of State suffer from severe staffing vacancies, especially in senior positions.
For 32 years, I represented our country abroad in nine overseas postings, including Afghanistan, Turkey and the former East Germany. Today I urge all Americans and their elected representatives, on whose behalf our diplomats proudly work, to support the Foreign Service of the United States.
Scott F. Kilner
Consul General (Ret.)