Diplomacy 101

Should American politicians have the power to appoint diplomats?
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Whenever we hear that a new U.S. ambassador has been nominated, it’s not unreasonable for us to assume that the nominee has been to his or her appointed country. But, as we learned from President Obama’s most recent ambassadorial appointments -- in America, at least -- that's not always the case. 

Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, several of his nominees admitted that they’d never laid foot in the countries they were appointed to. Their responses shocked the nation, and media sources across the country deemed them "inept" and "a disservice to diplomacy."

What is diplomacy? What does the job of a diplomat really entail? What is the process for becoming an ambassador? Should we continue to let politicians appoint our diplomatic leaders? We sit down with diplomacy experts and former diplomats to answer some of these questions.

Later, Congressman Jim Himes tells us about his recent Intel CODEL trip to North Africa.


  • Jay Bruns - Vice President of Public Policy and Governmental Affairs at The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.; former American diplomat 
  • Stephen Dyson - Associate professor of foreign policy and international relations at UConn
  • Kevin Russell - Political science Ph.D. candidate at Yale University 
  • Congressman Jim Himes​ - Representative for Connecticut's 4th Congressional District