Calendar of Events - DACOR
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Feeling isolated?  Out of the loop?  Missing our House and garden and your colleagues?
Please join President Paul Denig, Executive Director John Bradshaw and Director of Operations Meg Sharley for a Q&A session on the lay of the land at DACOR and what our planned activities are for the fall.

All those who register will be provided instructions on how to view and participate in the event before July 17th.

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7/17/202012:00pm to 1:00pmDACOR Programs

This event is for DACOR members only (primary members and secondary members (spouses/partners)). Please note that this is a virtual event. TO REGISTER, CLICK HERE - all those who register will be sent an email with information on how to join the virtual event

Join Ambassador Kurt Tong, Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau from 2016-2019, for a discussion on Hong Kong's recent history and medium-term trajectory, pivoting around the significant milestone of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Ambassador Kurt Tong is a Partner at The Asia Group, where he leads the firm’s work in Japan and the broader East Asia region. A leading expert in diplomacy and economic affairs in East Asia, Ambassador Tong brings thirty years of experience in the Department of State as a career Foreign Service Officer and member of the Senior Foreign Service.
Prior to joining The Asia Group, Ambassador Tong served as Consul General and Chief of Mission in Hong Kong and Macau, leading U.S. political and economic engagement with that important free trade hub. Prior to that role, he served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs at the State Department from 2014 to 2016, guiding the Department’s institutional strengthening efforts as its most senior career diplomat handling economic affairs. He also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo from 2011 to 2014, where he played a key role in setting the stage for Japan’s entry into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and supporting Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. In 2013, he received the Cordell Hull Award for Economic Achievement by Senior Officers for his outstanding success in advancing U.S. economic interests by reducing trade barriers, increasing market access for American products, and enhancing international cooperation across the Asia Pacific region.
Prior to these positions, Ambassador Tong served as Ambassador for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 2011, leading the U.S. chairmanship of the organization during one of the most productive periods for APEC. As Director of Korean Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs, he played a leadership role in negotiations with North Korea as part of the Six-Party Talks and in securing the release of captive Americans held there. He was one of the original architects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement during the Bush and Obama administrations, including while serving as Director for Asian Economic Affairs at the White House National Security Council from 2006 to 2008.
Earlier in his career, Ambassador Tong served as Economic Minister-Counselor in Seoul, Counselor for Environment, Science and Health at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, Deputy Treasury Attaché in Tokyo, and as an economic officer in Manila. He published research on Japanese macroeconomic trends and U.S.-Japan economic diplomacy as a Visiting Scholar with Tokyo University’s Faculty of Economics, and before joining the Foreign Service, was an Associate with the Boston Consulting Group in Tokyo.
Ambassador Tong holds a B.A. from The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs and studied economics at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute. He has also studied at the Beijing Institute of Education, Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies in Taipei, Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Tokyo, and International Christian University in Tokyo.
Ambassador Tong is a Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an Advisor at the Hinrich Foundation, and serves on the board of directors of several non-profit organizations including the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, International Student Conferences Inc., the National Association of Japan-America Societies, and the Japan-America Society of Washington DC.
Ambassador Tong speaks and reads both Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. He was born in Ohio and raised in New England. The son of a collegiate athletic coach, Ambassador Tong enjoys tennis, golf and other sports. He is married to Dr. Mika Marumoto. They have three grown children.


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7/22/202012:00pm to 1:00pmDACOR Programs

The U.S. and Mexico: The Most Important Relationship in the World
Roberta S. Jacobson is a senior advisor at the Albright Stonebridge Group. She served as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico from May 2016 until her resignation in May 2018, retiring from the State Department after more than 30 years. In fall 2018, she taught at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics as a Pritzker Fellow. Ms. Jacobson previously served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2012-2016. She held various positions in the State Department’s Western Hemisphere Bureau, embassies in Argentina and Peru, and the White House during her career. Ms. Jacobson holds a Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (1986) and a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University. She is the author of numerous articles, including, “10 Things You Didn’t Know About U.S. –Latin America Relations” (Americas Quarterly; 2013), “Women and the Rule of Law: A View from the Americas" (The Fletcher Forum; 2014) and “The United States and the Western Hemisphere: A Relationship on the Rise” (The Ambassador’s Review; 2015).

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Coming Soon...DACOR Programs

Tangier's Old American Legation Approaches Its Bicentennial
John Davison, Director of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM), will speak about plans to celebrate the Bicentennial of America's only national landmark located outside of the United States, the old American Legation in Tangier.  Since de-commissioning as a State Department diplomatic mission in 1960, the Legation functioned as a Foreign Service Institute and then Peace Corps language school before being turned over in 1976 to a non-profit association which opened as a museum honoring the historic U.S.-Moroccan friendship. Today, in addition to the Museum, TALIM hosts at the Legation a research library, classrooms for neighborhood women's literacy and other youth programs, and as a venue for cultural events and academic conferences.

John Davison has been TALIM’s Director since July, 2014. He was an accomplished diplomat and negotiator for the State Department with nearly 30 years of global experience in macroeconomics, conflict resolution, good governance, sustainable development, trade policy and education.

As U.S. Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs in New Delhi, John coordinated high-level bilateral dialogues in energy, aviation, trade and investment policy, and technology cooperation. As Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires in Niger, John led the U.S. response to a drought-related food crisis that delivered assistance to millions on the brink of starvation. There he also helped to design, identify funding for, and implement programs on conflict resolution, girls’ education, electoral support and anti-trafficking.  As Deputy U.S. Representative to the U.N. Economic and Social Council, John led teams negotiating at global conferences on Financing for Development, HIV/AIDS, Sustainable Development, and the Rights of the Child. John also served as Political Adviser on Iraq and the Middle East to the then U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Bill Richardson.

Much of John’s career has been in North Africa and the Sahel, beginning with his service as a Peace Corps Volunteer English teacher in Morocco.   He began his Foreign Service career in Guinea-Bissau and later served as Finance Officer in Cairo, Egypt. John both studied Arabic at the State Department’s Arabic Language Field School in Tunisia and later became its director, where he managed a multi-national faculty who trained U.S. diplomats to interact with Arab counterparts, give interviews and conduct business in the Middle East.  Since retiring from the Foreign Service in 2009, John also worked for the United Nations Development Programme in Cape Verde, where he advised the Cape Verdean government and donors on aid effectiveness and coordination issues.  A graduate of Georgetown University, John speaks French, Arabic and Portuguese.

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Coming Soon...DACOR Programs

From Hope to Horror: Diplomacy and the Making of the Rwanda Genocide
CHESTER CROCKER, former Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, says Joyce Leader's "authoritative account of the years and months leading up to Rwanda's orgy of killing in 1994 is destined to become a definitive history of what went wrong, why, and when." As deputy to the U.S. ambassador in Rwanda, Leader witnessed the tumultuous prelude to genocide—a period of political wrangling, human rights abuses, and many levels of ominous, ever-escalating violence. From Hope to Horror offers her firsthand account of the efforts to move Rwanda toward democracy and peace, analyzes the challenges of conducting diplomacy in settings prone to or engaged in armed conflict, and proposes practical lessons for policy makers.

“Joyce Leader obliges us to . . . ask how so many well-intentioned diplomats could have inadvertently contributed to one of the most murderous episodes in modern history. Her book is a must-read for all who hope to honor the injunction 'Never again!'”

–– George Moose, vice chair of the U.S. Institute of Peace and former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs

“[This] rare and moving account of the path to genocide in Rwanda argues that U.S. and international diplomacy, which prioritized democracy promotion and peace over conflict prevention, inadvertently contributed to the crisis.”

–– Susan E. Rice, former National Security Adviser and Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Leader traces the three-way struggle for control among Rwanda's ethnic and regional factions. Hoping to encourage a peaceful transition, the United States midwifed negotiations leading to the Arusha Accords, which met categorical rejection by the "losers" and a downward spiral into mass atrocities. From Hope to Horror fills in the forgotten history of the diplomats who tried but failed to prevent a human rights catastrophe.

“Joyce Leader makes a convincing and heartfelt case for early diplomatic interventions to stem conflicts before military involvement.”

–– Lt. Gen. Roméo Dallaire (ret.), former commander of the UN Peacekeeping Forces in Rwanda

Joyce E. Leader, a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer, was deputy chief of mission in Rwanda from 1991 until the genocide erupted in 1994 and served as a U.S. Observer to the Rwandan peace talks in Arusha. She capped her 21-year career in the State Department as ambassador to the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. An Africanist, she specialized in political affairs, refugee affairs, human rights, conflict resolution, and international organizations. Since retiring from the Foreign Service in 2003, Ambassador Leader represented the U.S. in multiple attempts to resolve recurring threats to peace and human rights in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

While there is no charge for this event, it will feature a cash bar.

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Coming Soon...DACOR Programs

Two Lifetimes as One: Ele and Me and the Foreign Service
Two Lifetimes As One is an autobiography of Irving Tragen and his late wife, Eleanor “Ele” Dodson. Irving relives their odyssey through a dozen U.S. Foreign Service appointments in Latin America and the Organization of American States. "Irving's engagement in issues of community development, labor laws, and the prevention of drug trafficking across multiple countries in the hemisphere offers unparalleled insight," so says Melissa Floca, Associate Director of the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego. And retired international banker Toby Westbrook writes, "For anyone interested in contemporary Latin American history and the United States diplomacy in the region, Irving's book is mandatory reading and a must-have addition to a library." To be published by New Academia in March 2020, 957 pages, soft cover, $46 ($40 for DACOR members). Preorder from

While there is no charge for this event, it will feature a cash bar.

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Coming Soon...DACOR Programs

Spring Reception
DACOR's Annual Spring Reception returns with a new co-host. DACOR and AFSA invite you to join us for a delightful evening event featuring great company and food and live music. Held the evening before Foreign Affairs Day when many out-of-town Foreign Service retirees travel to Washington, the Spring Reception is a wonderful chance to catch up with old friends and coworkers as well as meet new ones.

This event is expected to sell out so sign up now!


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Trump's Second Term - The Constitutional Challenges
It is argued that President Trump’s approach to executive leadership raises broad issues as to its efficacy and its compliance with constitutional norms. The Trump administration extols the virtue of nearly unlimited power vested in the Presidency through an expansive interpretation of the Constitution. Some argue that these powers include the remaking of judiciary, the reestablishment of party loyalty within the civil service, an emphasis on personal gain in the conduct of international affairs, and the vilification of opponents. Will such expressions of party control over the institutions and personnel of government continue to challenge the Constitution in Trump’s second term?

Other questions that may guide the discussion during the SALON include:

  • Is there a need for an executive branch grounded in party loyalists invested with broad powers to confront its political opposition and counter media that represent alternative views? Is there evidence for this assessment? Are there precedents in the American presidency for this kind of executive?  If so, has such an executive been effective, compliant with the Constitution and the public’s civil rights?

  • Did the constitutional framers anticipate the growth in power of the executive branch so that it can wield significant influence through executive authority and the “administrative state” to accomplish its aims?

  • What accounts for the apparent appeal of the executive presidency?  Is it a due to a changed political dynamic – populism, identity politics, etc. – or are there structural flaws in the Constitution or its interpretation such that it fails to address present conflicts regarding Presidential/executive-branch power?

Readings for the SALON:

Garrett Epps covers the Supreme Court for The Atlantic Online and teaches at the University of Baltimore as a professor of constitutional law. His weekly essays can be found here. He started his career as a professional writer and novelist, working on staff for The Richmond Mercury, The Richmond Afro-American, The Virginia Churchman, The (Fredericksburg, VA) Free Lance-Star, and, ultimately, The Washington Post.

He is the author of two novels, The Shad Treatment (1977) and The Floating Island: A Tale of Washington (1985); and has written five books of legal non-fiction, including To an Unknown God: Religious Freedom on Trial; Democracy Reborn: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Fight for Equal Rights in Post-Civil War America; and American Epic: Reading the U.S Constitution. His journalism has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The Nation, and The American Prospect.

In 1988, he entered Duke Law School. After graduation, he returned to Richmond to clerk for the late Judge John D. Butzner, Jr. of the Fourth Circuit, before moving to Eugene, Oregon, where he lived for 16 years engaged as a professor of Constitutional Law and was faculty adviser to the Medical Marijuana Law Reporter. Since 2008, he has lived in Washington, D.C.

He has two children and five grandchildren. His wife, Kathy Bader, is a medieval historian and consultant helping major universities adapt their information systems to the cloud.

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Coming Soon...DACOR Programs

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