Calendar of Events - DACOR
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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.

Foreign Service officer and Ambassador (ret.) Jimmy Kolker was Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services for the 2014-2016 Ebola and Zika outbreaks and the scale-up of the USG-led Global Health Security Agenda. He defined the term "AIDS diplomat" as ambassador to Uganda when President Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief was launched and was a prominent "Health diplomat" in subsequent jobs at UNICEF and HHS. In retirement, Amb. Kolker is an active DACOR member and serves on the boards of foundations and NGOs dealing with Africa and with global health. He co-teaches a graduate course at Georgetown SFS on global health security, and was a member of the Health Security Commission of the Center for Strategic and International Studies that produced the December 2019 report Ending the Cycle of Crisis and Complacency in U.S. Global Health Security. https://www.csis.org/analysis/ending-cycle-crisis-and-complacency-us-global-health-security
 

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4/8/202012:00pm to 1:00pmDACOR Programs


Enjoy a delicious buffet, including vegetarian and gluten free options. Self-serve coffee & tea included. Wine, beer and soft drinks are available for purchase at the table.

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4/14/202012:00pm to 1:30pmDACOR


Come to exchange views and analysis of significant current events, foreign and domestic. Some weeks, a pre-chosen topic will be discussed after an initiator launches the discussion with a brief (~5 minutes) framing of a topic, after which free-wheeling discussion follows. Other weeks, the discussion will revolve around what currently piques attendees’ interests.

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4/16/202011:00am to 12:00pmDACOR Programs


Join us in welcoming new DACOR members to the DACOR community and our home.

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4/16/202012:00pm to 1:30pmDACOR


Enjoy a delicious buffet, including vegetarian and gluten free options. Self-serve coffee & tea included. Wine, beer and soft drinks are available for purchase at the table.

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4/21/202012:00pm to 1:30pmDACOR


If you have an interest in Africa or want to learn more, join DACOR members at the monthly Africa Discussion Group. Discussions are organized around theme, country, region or on a selected speaker’s interests.

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4/21/202012:00pm to 1:30pmAmb. Christopher Goldthwait


DACOR members are welcome to meet with the new DCMs and Principal Officers before they depart for their new assignments. This is a wonderful opportunity to talk to experienced FSOs about their careers.

Post locations of the April DCM/PO class participants will be available soon.

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4/22/20205:30pm to 7:00pmDACOR Programs


A delicious lunch with the choice of the special of the week or a vegetarian option. The meal also includes dessert, coffee/tea and House wine. Premium wine, beer and soft drinks are available for purchase at the table.

Join students interviewing for a DACOR Bacon House Foundation Graduate Fellowship for lunch on:
  • April 9 George Mason University

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4/23/202012:30pm to 1:30pmDACOR


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 admin@adst.org.

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

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4/23/20206:00pm to 7:30pmDACOR Programs


Enjoy a delicious buffet, including vegetarian and gluten free options. Self-serve coffee & tea included. Wine, beer and soft drinks are available for purchase at the table.

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4/28/202012:00pm to 1:30pmDACOR


Come to exchange views and analysis of significant current events, foreign and domestic. Some weeks, a pre-chosen topic will be discussed after an initiator launches the discussion with a brief (~5 minutes) framing of a topic, after which free-wheeling discussion follows. Other weeks, the discussion will revolve around what currently piques attendees’ interests.

more info...
4/30/202011:00am to 12:00pmDACOR Programs


A delicious lunch with the choice of the special of the week or a vegetarian option. The meal also includes dessert, coffee/tea and House wine. Premium wine, beer and soft drinks are available for purchase at the table.

Join students interviewing for a DACOR Bacon House Foundation Graduate Fellowship for lunch on:
  • April 9 George Mason University

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4/30/202012:30pm to 1:30pmDACOR


Interested in keeping up with your French? Join the French Conversation Group!

Formed to help French-speaking members maintain their proficiency, the group meets monthly for lunchtime conversation involving foreign relations, diplomatic history, cultural activities, travel, and - of course! - French food and wine.

The DACOR cash bar opens at 12 noon and the group moves to a reserved table at Members' Buffet Lunch at 12:30 pm. Only French is spoken during lunch.

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5/5/202012:00pm to 1:30pmDACOR Programs

Russian Imperial Art at Hillwood
Founded by Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973), heiress to the Postum Cereal Company, which later became General Foods, Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens houses over 17,000 works of art. The collection includes one of the largest and most important collections of Russian art outside Russia, comprising pieces from the pre-Petrine to the early Soviet periods. This talk will explore the history of Hillwood’s Russian collection acquired in part in Soviet Russia by Post and her husband Ambassador Davies.



Dr. Wilfried Zeisler is Hillwood’s chief curator. He is a graduate of Sorbonne University and the Ecole du Louvre, Paris. Wilfried has written extensively on French and Russian decorative arts, including a 2010 book on French ceramics commemorating the Franco-Russian Alliance, several articles, and contributions to books such as Artistic Luxury Fabergé Tiffany Lalique (2008). Wilfried’s dissertation, L’Objet d’art et de luxe français en Russie (1881-1917) [French Objets d’art and Luxury Goods in Russia], was published in Paris in 2014. Between 2009 and 2011, he has participated in and curated exhibitions in Paris and Monaco. At Hillwood, he has curated Splendor and Surprise: Elegant Containers, Antique to Modern (2015), Konstantin Makovsky: The Tsar's Painter (2016), Fabergé Rediscovered (2018), Bouke de Vries: War and Pieces (2019), and Natural Beauties: Exquisite Works of Minerals and Gems (2020). Wilfried co-authored Konstantin Makovsky: The Tsar's Painter in America and Paris (2015), and is the author of Fabergé Rediscovered  and Vivre la Belle Epoque à Paris -- Paul de Russie et Olga Paley, both published in 2018.

 

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Coming Soon...DACOR Programs

The Ambassadors: America's Diplomats on the Frontline
In The Ambassadors: America’s Diplomats on the Front Lines, veteran diplomatic correspondent Paul Richter goes behind the battles and the headlines to show how American ambassadors have been unconventional—and unheralded—warriors in the nation’s recent conflicts in the Middle East. 



Richter takes us through the compelling stories of four of America’s ambassadors—Ryan Crocker, Robert Ford, Anne Patterson and Christopher Stephens—as they carry out their missions and risk their lives in combat zones. From running local governments and brokering peace deals, to directing drone strikes and aiding allied military forces, Richter shines a light on the critical and dangerous roles that our nation’s diplomats have undertaken. 



Richter’s The Ambassadors is an important addition to the complex story of America’s wars and nation-building in the Middle East. At a time when the Foreign Service has been downsized and marginalized, it attests to the sacrifices and contributions of the diplomatic corps.



Paul Richter has written about foreign policy and national security for the past three decades. As a Washington-based reporter for The Los Angeles Times, he traveled to 60 countries and appeared in U.S. and international media. He is principal author of California and the American Tax Revolt, University of California Press, 1983. 



Books will be available for sale.

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Coming Soon...DACOR 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

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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Coming Soon...DACOR Programs

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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