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  • Author: Keith C. Smith
  • Publication Date: 01-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: During my long career, I heard many colleagues reflect on their first Foreign Service assignment—usually recalling it as a highly positive experience. Unfortunately, my first post left me disillusioned by the Foreign Service and vowing to leave it as soon as feasible. Many of us who have served in Mexican border posts encountered work and management issues quite different from those who witnessed the full range of foreign service life in a large or medium-sized capital. For slightly more than one year (April 1963-May 1964) I decided the futures of large numbers of poor Mexicans anxious to move to the U.S., observed the human tragedy encountered by a duty officer on the border and participated in a sub-rosa rebellion by junior staff against the imperial management style of the Consul-General (CG). Fortunately, the following 36 years in the Foreign Service were very different. The people I worked with and the intellectual challenges offered were sufficient to keep me from walking away from what turned out to be a satisfying career.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Immigration, Borders, Memoir
  • Political Geography: North America, Mexico, United States of America