In addition to the ambassadors, for the first part of my tour the Director for Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communications was David Ensor. David is great and is now heading up VOA. He was a CNN war correspondent for years and brought a different perspective (i.e. not government) to the mix - very valuable since in the foreign service, we can sometimes see only the Foreign Service way. He was a fabulous boss and I consider him a friend and mentor. (please ignore my hair in this photo - it was probably the windiest day I had ever seen in Kabul and we were at a reception outside).
Then in the last half of my tour, all of the Ambassadors except one were replaced. AMBASSADOR Crocker entered (a legend in the foreign service - served in Iraq and Pakistan too), Ambassador Cunningham, Ambassador Pearce, and Ambassador Olson (not pictured). Again, new leadership styles - to teache you how to adapt and work with new people. It was a challenge to learn the new system that immediately was in place, but luckily Afghanistan remains a high priority so the personnel are good that are selected for leadership.
And then completing the 2011-2012 team was Eileen O'Connor, who I also was lucky to work with. I sound a bit like Pollyanna (I am so GLAD I got to work with each of you) but actually I do think working with each of these people taught me a lot. And Eileen, the first senior woman in the embassy during my tenure, was especially important for me (see previous post - The Lady Office) because it is great to see a woman navigate the senior halls and she does it with a lot of grace.
|Yes, I am wearing the same shirt - it is Kabul, not a lot of clothes in my closet!|