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  1. #1
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    Michelle Kwan: New Woman in Washington

    Very nice article about Michelle and her future plans. It's really nice to see her so happy and doing work she finds meaningful and fulfilling.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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    This article link was originally posted in the Trash Can forum but I think it's worthy of a thread in GSD.

  3. #3
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    Sorry, I looked there and missed it, can a nice admin please delete this thread? Thanks, Sylvia.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

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    Great article! Thanks for linking it.

  5. #5
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    what a great article! Love the Kween!

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    Now I can say "Howdie, neighbor!" to the Kween!

    So has Michele taken and passed the Foreign Service Exam to be a career diplomat? Or is she planning to go from 'special appointment' to 'special appointment' for the rest of her life? I would think not. Most folks who come to this town to do diplomacy do it through the Foreign Service Exam or similar tough exams required to have true careers in the international agencies. Michele had the brain to go to Fletcher so I am guessing that she'll take the true career path.

    p.s. I'll repost this in the 'Trash Can' thread...but I can hardly call this article 'trash.'
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

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    I would think Michelle would follow the career path too. Although I don't expect this would be a problem for her, only three percent of applicants make it to the register of eligibles from which hiring is done, which is ranked according to exam scores. If she doesn't take the career path, she will probably get stuck with the kinds of assignments she has been having and that certainly wouldn't make full use of her education .

    Since her brother was mentioned in the article, what is he doing these days.

  8. #8

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    Just out of curiosity ... when is it expected for people to take the Foreign Service Exam? Is it something that it is reasonable to expect Michelle to have done before she graduates Fletcher? After graduation, but before any further schooling (such as going for a Ph.D)?

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    With so many friends and colleagues in D.C., Kwan feels right at home in the city, citing her favorite new restaurant: “Circa at Dupont (circacafes.com). I went there twice in the same week!” she says. She also loves Russia House Restaurant and Lounge (rus siahouselounge.com) and the Lincoln Memorial, “which is so tranquil in the evening,” and she longs to try out the winding running paths in Rock Creek Park.
    I was just out at Circa a few weeks ago (I live a few blocks away) and I'm out running in Rock Creek Park most evenings. It would be quite the surprise to see the Kween. Though considering her fitness, I wouldn't be surprised if she speeds right past me.

  10. #10

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    Garden Kitty: Thanks for posting this great article! As a Kwan fan, I'm a bit chagrined that I missed seeing it before.
    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman View Post
    Since her brother was mentioned in the article, what is he doing these days.
    I don't know what Michelle's brother Ron is doing -- but the article was really mistaken in referring to him as Michelle's "little brother" because he is the oldest of the three Kwan siblings.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by attyfan View Post
    Just out of curiosity ... when is it expected for people to take the Foreign Service Exam? Is it something that it is reasonable to expect Michelle to have done before she graduates Fletcher? After graduation, but before any further schooling (such as going for a Ph.D)?
    Taking the exam to become a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) is not contingent on receiving a degree. Interested candidates within the ages of 20 and 59 can register to take the initial written exam (there are Orals and many other steps later). The initial written exam is held three times a year -- same day at a number of locales around the globe, not just in the US. The full scoop is here:
    http://careers.state.gov/officer/selection-process

    I wonder which of the 5 "career paths" within the FSO system Michelle will choose? From the FSO web:

    While all U.S. diplomats are expected to communicate U.S. foreign policy, and interact effectively with host country governments to help advance American interests worldwide, each career track has a specific focus.

    •Consular Officers facilitate adoptions, help evacuate Americans, and combat fraud to protect our borders and fight human trafficking. Consular Officers touch people's lives in important ways, often reassuring families in crisis.
    •Economic Officers work with foreign governments and other USG agencies on technology, science, economic, trade, energy, and environmental issues both domestically and overseas.
    •Management Officers are resourceful, creative, action-oriented "go to" leaders responsible for all embassy operations from real estate to people to budget.
    •Political Officers analyze host country political events and must be able to negotiate and communicate effectively with all levels of foreign government officials.
    •Public Diplomacy Officers explain American values and policies and may benefit from a strong knowledge of local government and customs.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am guessing "Public Diplomacy" for Michelle but that's one of the tougher ones to get into. Each "cone" (career path) has a limited number of openings, some tougher to get into than others. "Political Officer" is THE toughest - most top university grads dream of this...the path to someday being an Ambassador on your own merits (rather than a political appointment). Consular Officer & Management Officer seem to be the paths with most openings in most years.
    Last edited by Frau Muller; 05-11-2011 at 06:12 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan5 View Post
    Garden Kitty: Thanks for posting this great article! As a Kwan fan, I'm a bit chagrined that I missed seeing it before. I don't know what Michelle's brother Ron is doing -- but the article was really mistaken in referring to him as Michelle's "little brother" because he is the oldest of the three Kwan siblings.
    I know he is (or was) living in Denmark but I am not aware what he is working with.

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    I'm hard-pressed to see Kwan taking a job as a junior foreign service officer. Maybe she's trying for an appointment as an deputy undersecretary of state or something similar in DC?

    I don't think she'd be unlikely as a political appointment as ambassador ten or fifteen years from now -- her ability to have relationships with high level folks from both Republican and Democratic administrations, and many years of managing to behave very diplomatically, and very positive reception in some other countries could make her a pretty solid political pick. Her (presumed) ability to finance the costs of being an ambassador (which generally does not pay as much as the job really costs) is another plus.

    There are also any number of international commissions where the US appoints (paid) representatives, and that might be another possibility.

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    i graduated with a consular and diplomatic affaors degree back in 2002 and never even attempted to take my foreign service officers exam.

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    This is not meant to be a dig at Rachel Flatt and other skaters who kind of "toot their own horn" when it comes to academics...but it is so interesting to me to see how Michelle's career has turned out post skating. I know there was a little hub bub when she went to UCLA and lived in the dorms, but there was never really much talk of what she wanted to do after skating, how she was some remarkable hard working over achieving student who wanted great things after skating (think Sarah and Emily and now Rachel). Yet here she is looking on her way to being very very successful and not resting on her laurels. I feel like there was this whole other side to Michelle that her fans knew nothing of...I mean I always knew she was a hard working individual but I look at her in a totally different way now. She is a very remarkable, strong, and very intelligent woman. Makes me proud to be a fan (ends uber-gushing)

  16. #16
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    MK keeps a low profile in general.
    In my spare time, I like to interview figure skating legends.

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    ^^^
    That will serve her well in Diplomacy.
    Now that she has the academic credentials, it will be interesting to see what options she chooses, of the many paths open to her,

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    Everyone who takes the Foreign Service Exam starts at the bottom of the chain and one is expected to do a tour in some country where you learn the ropes of working at an Embassy. You might be stamping visas for all you know. Not everyone who starts out is very young, but many are.

    It is a very equality-based system. You pass the test, you move on to the orals and then the medical exam.

    Not everyone who has the title "diplomat" is a career foreign service officer. You can go the political appointee route. For example, many AMBs at Embassies are careerists, but many are also appointees. There are pros and cons of each route.

    I am sure Kwan is capable of both types of diplomacy positions, but trust me, junior level FSO positions aren't exactly glamorous. :-)

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia View Post
    This article link was originally posted in the Trash Can forum but I think it's worthy of a thread in GSD.
    ITA, Sylvia. If an Ando marries Morozov thread can be in GSD, than this thread certainly can and should be!!

    Kwan is simply amazing.

    I'm always pleased to see a figure skater become such a prominent citizen. In Kwan's case, figure skating is always mentioned prominently in articles about her and figure skating is still so much a part of making her who she is today, which she readily acknowledges. Kwan is good for figure skating still.

    O-

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by toepick View Post
    Everyone who takes the Foreign Service Exam starts at the bottom of the chain and one is expected to do a tour in some country where you learn the ropes of working at an Embassy. You might be stamping visas for all you know. Not everyone who starts out is very young, but many are.

    It is a very equality-based system. .... :-)
    Precisely. So why did Michelle bother to go to Tufts-Fletcher and get a degree if she's not willing to take the "fair and democratic" route to diplomacy? She's wealthy enough that if she wants a career of appointments and 'fluff,' she didn't have to go to a top-notch diplomacy program like Tufts-Fletcher. She did so KUDOS to her in that regard.

    However, I'm waiting to see if (a) Michelle takes the exam, (b) passes the exam, the orals, etc., and (c) will be serving two years at the US Consulate in Tijuana, stamping visas, like the rest her college classmates who aren't wealthy or famous enough to bypass the system.
    Dick Button Historical Quote of the Month: "Good for you, Lucinda Ruh!"

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