The Tennessee World Affairs Council in Association with
The American Academy of Diplomacy
Film Screening of “America’s Diplomats”
and Conversation with Ambassador Charles R. Bowers, USFS(Ret) and Ambassador Ronald Schlicher, USFS(Ret)
September 7, 2016
6:00-7:30 pm – Program
Large Theater, Johnson Center
Free but Registration Required
“America’s Diplomats” Trailer
Narrated by Kathleen Turner, America’s Diplomats explores the role of the Foreign Service – from Ben Franklin to Benghazi – through stories of individual diplomats and their families. After decades of war, America is turning to her Foreign Service more than ever to confront global challenges. From preventing war to promoting economic interests, we reveal the sacrifices made by those working behind the scenes of American foreign policy.
For more information, visit the website http://americasdiplomats.com/
Executive Producer: MacDara King
Lead Editor: David Heidelberger
Foreign Service by the Numbers
180 — Countries the U.S. has diplomatic relations with
14,000 — Members of the Foreign Service
The United States has diplomatic relations with some 180 countries. Only five nations do not have U.S. ambassadorial exchanges: Bhutan, Iran, North Korea, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Syria.
It is statistically more dangerous to join the Foreign Service than the armed forces. While few military personnel experiences combat, embassies and consulates are now terrorist targets. Indeed, about three times as many ambassadors as admirals and generals have been killed by hostile actions since WWII.
At the height of the Cold War, the USSR bombarded the U.S. embassy in Moscow with microwaves. Some say it was just the Soviets’ way of trying to jam radio signals from the embassy; others were more skeptical and pointed to a rash of strange illnesses that popped up among embassy staff during that time. Three of the U.S. ambassadors who had most recently served there later died of cancer.
There are 14,000 members of the Foreign Service (+/- 8,000 Officers and 6,000 Specialists) compared to around 2.3 million military personnel – the ratio is 1:164.
The shortest term served by an American ambassador was approximately 16 days. In 1976, Ambassador Francis E. Meloy Jr. was assassinated en route to presenting his credentials to the President of Lebanon.
Source: America’s Diplomats
About Ambassador Charles R. Bowers, USFS(Ret)
Charles Richard (Dick) Bowers served as the United States Ambassador to Bolivia from 1991 through 1994. During that time, the American Embassy in Bolivia’s capital, La Paz, was the largest and most complex U.S. embassy in South America.
Ambassador Bowers was born in Missouri, grew in the San Francisco Bay area, and studied political science, economics and international relations at the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his BA, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1966 and his MA degree in 1967. He then immediately entered the U. S. Foreign Service. From 1961 to 1964 he was on active duty with the U.S. Army and served as a Russian linguist in West Berlin at the height of the Cold War.
As a career member of the U.S. diplomatic corps, Ambassador Bowers served in the American Embassies in Panama, Poland, Singapore, Germany and Bolivia. During tours of duty at State Department headquarters in Washington D.C., he traveled to over 75 counties on negotiating, fact-finding and trouble-shooting missions. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1995.
Ambassador Bowers is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tennessee World Affairs Council.
About Ambassador Ronald Schlicher
Ambassador Ronald Schlicher, USFS (Ret) – Served as Principal Deputy Assistant Coordinator of Counterterrorism and served as U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus (2005-2008). Ambassador Schlicher served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), where he served as Coordinator for Iraq. During the 2003 war with Iraq, Ambassador Schlicher was Director of the Iraq Task Force. He then served for six months in Iraq with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), first as Regional Coordinator for the North and then as Director of the Office of Provincial Outreach.[MORE]
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