Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Half Title, Series Info, Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Foreword

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

“You really need to interview her.” This advice from the head of the U.S. Information Agency’s (USIA) Equal Employment Opportunity Office made it clear that Harriet Elam had succeeded. She was in line to become the senior-most Foreign Service officer at the agency. She would soon be its counselor. ...

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xvi

Although a book’s preface is typically written by its author, I welcome the opportunity to describe how this particular work came into being, having attentively observed its development. For more than a decade, I listened to comments made by those in Harriet Elam-Thomas’s circle—from her husband, Wilfred J. Thomas, ...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xvii-xix

Without the unceasing commitment of my coauthor Jim Robison, a respected Florida historian, author, and journalist, we would not have the detailed chronology of my ancestry. We would not have the accurate references to the diplomatic history noted herein. ...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-10

Growing up in Boston, in my downsized version of the world, I used to wrinkle my face when neighbors referred to me as the “little Elam girl,” because my siblings were seventeen to twenty years my senior. Later, when my career decisions thrust me into an outsized version of the world as a globe-trotting diplomat, ...

read more

1. What a Family!

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 11-22

Some African societies separate family into two groups, the sasha, for the living and recently deceased, and the zamani, those revered people from past generations who lived during a time before anyone alive today. My life’s story cannot be told without honoring the memories of my sasha family and the legacies ...

read more

2. My Name Is Harriet

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 23-40

I was a very shy adolescent and teenager, often referred to as “the little Elam girl.” No one seemed to know my first name. My sister and brothers were known quantities, but I was thought of as “the surprise” because I arrived almost seventeen years after my sister, who had been the baby and only girl until that time. ...

read more

3. Do You Know How to Type?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 41-58

During the summer prior to my senior year in high school, my mother insisted that I learn typing and shorthand. I did not want to attend any summer school for fear of giving the impression that I needed to improve my grades. After all, I was a fine student, and the last thing I needed was to diminish my academic accomplishments. ...

read more

4. Young, Black, Female, and . . . from the White House

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 59-82

Maybe I needed a little more “finishing.” My résumé now included my work at the U.S. embassy in Paris and at the White House; however, I was not exactly a worldly, cultured woman. I still had my moments. At the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, my boss was Jim Donovan, a fine man old enough to be my father. ...

read more

5. Harriet, How Is Your Greek?

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 83-102

I was taken by surprise one day by a call from one of my career counselor colleagues, Jack Tuohey: “Harriet, how is your Greek?” And, without giving me time to respond, he added, “You are going to Greece.” He was serious. The assignments panel had selected me to succeed Peter Synodis in Athens as cultural affairs officer, ...

read more

6. The Desk Officer Who Was Never in Her Office

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 103-114

After Greece, I came back to be a USIA country affairs officer for Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus. Also referred to as the desk officer, this officer analyzes incoming reporting on the countries noted. The desk officer also supports administrative and program requests from the field, briefs outgoing delegations to those countries, ...

read more

7. Well, It’s the Truth!

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 115-126

My assignments in Greece and Turkey provided me with a deep swing through the cradle of civilization. My role was a dual one: to articulate U.S. policy and to correct the many misperceptions about the United States through educational and cultural exchange. ...

read more

8. This Was Our “Aha” Moment

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 127-134

In early July 1997, USIA director Joseph Duffey called me in Brussels and asked me to return to USIA as counselor. It was the USIA’s most senior management position, but I would be the last counselor. I was flabbergasted. In two years the agency was slated to become part of the Department of State. ...

read more

9. Off to Dakar

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 135-162

In April 1998 President Clinton made a state visit to Senegal, underscoring it as one of our closest allies among the Francophone nations of Africa. Speaking at Gorée Island, a former slave port off the coast of Dakar, the president recognized the struggles of African Americans for equality and pledged his support of efforts by Africans ...

read more

10. I Was Ready to Retire . . . I Thought

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 163-180

I did not seek out what has become my final Foreign Service assignment, becoming the first diplomat in residence at the University of Central Florida. I was ready to retire. I thought. Ambassador Ruth A. Davis, who had rallied after a major health challenge, called me and said, “Harriet, we need to have more women and minorities in this business. ...

read more

Epilogue

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 181-194

On July 1, 2015, President Barack Obama walked from the steps outside the Oval Office at the West Wing of the White House and stood at a podium in the Rose Garden to tell the nation of his plans to reopen the U.S. embassy in Havana, which President Dwight Eisenhower had closed fifty-four years before. ...

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 195-204

Further Series Titles

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Image Plates

pdf iconDownload PDF