Posts Tagged ‘foreign service’
Unfortunately for most Foreign Service folks it is Employee Evaluation Report (EER) time again. The rating period ended on April 15, and if your post is being timely you should have your final submissions to the review panel right now.
I’ve written a lot of EERs – whether as the rated employee, rater, or reviewer. Over time you see the same mistakes being made, and while my more experienced colleagues have undoubtedly similar experience, here are a few things to avoid at all costs in your EER. Your EER is the only thing the panel sees when it comes to promotion time. Assuming promotion is important to you, you should give it your best effort.
A reader asks,
I’ve read that State doesn’t take Masters or PhDs into account when making your initial salary offer. Why not? This seems like it would discourage a lot of otherwise qualified future FSOs.
I sympathize with those earning an advanced degree when they get an offer of employment – I was one of them! But I think it makes sense in the end. Keep in mind that I have no idea what the actual reasoning behind the policy is (above my pay grade), but here are some thoughts. Read the rest of this entry »
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Colombia on Monday. It reads as follows:
October 03, 2012
The Department of State reminds U.S. citizens of the dangers of travel to Colombia. Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Cartagena and Bogota, but violence linked to narco-trafficking continues to affect some rural areas and parts of large cities. This replaces the Travel Warning for Colombia issued February 21, 2012, to update information on recent security incidents and terrorist activity.
While the Embassy possesses no information concerning specific and credible threats against U.S. citizens in Colombia, we strongly encourage you to exercise caution and remain vigilant as terrorist and criminal activities remain a threat throughout the country. Two people were killed and approximately 60 injured by a car bomb during an assassination attempt on the life of a former Interior Minister on May 15, 2012. Explosions occur throughout Colombia on a regular basis, including some in Bogota itself. Small towns and rural areas of Colombia can still be extremely dangerous due to the presence of terrorists and narco-traffickers, including armed criminal gangs (referred to as “BACRIMs” in Spanish), that are active throughout much of the country. Violence associated with the BACRIM has spilled over into many of Colombia’s major cities. These groups are heavily involved in the drug trade. Read the rest of this entry »
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Lebanon on September 17, 2012. It reads as follows:
September 17, 2012
The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon because of current safety and security concerns. U.S. citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on May 8, 2012, to emphasize information on security, kidnappings, and an upsurge in violence in Lebanon and the region.
The potential in Lebanon for a spontaneous upsurge in violence remains. Lebanese government authorities are not able to guarantee protection for citizens or visitors to the country should violence erupt suddenly. Access to borders, airports, roads, and seaports can be interrupted with little or no warning. Public demonstrations occur frequently with little warning and have the potential to become violent. Family or neighborhood disputes often escalate quickly and can lead to gunfire or other violence with little or no warning. The ability of U.S. government personnel to reach travelers or provide emergency services may be severely limited. Read the rest of this entry »
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Sudan on September 7. It reads as follows:
September 15, 2012
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Sudan, urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to the Darfur region of Sudan, the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States, and advises you to consider carefully the risks of travel in other areas of Sudan. On September 15, 2012, the Department of State ordered the departure of all dependents of U.S. direct hire personnel and all non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Sudan, following the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning issued on September 7, 2012.
While the Government of Sudan has taken some steps to limit the activities of terrorist groups, elements of these groups remain in Sudan and have threatened to attack Western interests. The terrorist threat level throughout Sudan, and particularly in the Darfur region, remains critical, and the U.S. Embassy has implemented enhanced security measures to protect U.S. government personnel assigned to Sudan. These measures include requiring U.S. government personnel to travel in armored government vehicles for official business, and to obtain advance permission for travel outside of Khartoum. In addition, family members under age 21 of U.S. Embassy personnel are not allowed to reside in Sudan. Read the rest of this entry »
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Tunisia on September 15. It reads as follows:
September 15, 2012
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Tunisia at this time. On September 14, 2012 the Department of State ordered the departure of all non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Tunisia, following the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis. The airport in Tunis is open and U.S. citizens are encouraged to depart by commercial air.
U.S. citizens remaining in Tunisia should use extreme caution and avoid demonstrations, make their own contingency emergency plans, enroll their presence in Tunisia through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin or emergency contact information.
The Embassy is located in the Les Berges du Lac suburb of Tunis. The Embassy telephone number is 216 71 107 000 and the Embassy fax number is 216 71 963 263. The Consular section can also be contacted by email at ConsularTunis@state.gov. Read the rest of this entry »
Consular Affairs issued a Travel Warning for Algeria on September 14. It reads as follows:
September 13, 2012
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Algeria. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Algeria dated May 4, 2012, to update information on the current security situation in Algeria and the continuing threat posed by terrorism, and to reiterate information on security incidents and recommendations on security awareness.
The Department of State urges U.S. citizens who travel to Algeria to evaluate carefully the risks posed to their personal safety. There is a high threat of terrorism and kidnappings in Algeria. This kidnapping threat was noted in the Department of State’s Worldwide Caution dated July 18, 2012. Although the major cities are heavily policed, attacks could still potentially take place. The majority of terrorist attacks, including bombings, false roadblocks, kidnappings, and ambushes occur in areas of the country east and south of Algiers. Read the rest of this entry »