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Modern American Diplomacy

Feb 4, 2021

Ambassador Nancy Jo Powell discusses her childhood in small town Iowa, gender discrimination at the State Department in the 1970's, first tours in Ottawa and Kathmandu, and her first big break as Acting Consul General in Lahore, Pakistan in 1988.

Ambassador Powell also discusses cultivating high morale in difficult posts, serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan in the wake of 9/11, the importance of mentorship, and lessons learned during her stints as the State Department's Senior Coordinator for both the Avian Influenza and Ebola.

Interview excerpted from the forthcoming book: Modern American Diplomacy: A Field Guide to Success in The Foreign Service.

For those interested in exploring a career in the Foreign Service, please visit Careers.State.Gov. To find out more about this episode's guest or to dig further into the history and practice of U.S. diplomacy, visit or

Special thanks to the Una Chapman Cox Foundation as well as the American Academy of Diplomacy.