Though generally not a focus of study for bureaucratic politics scholars, ambassadorships offer historical, institutional, and methodological advantages for understanding the effect of presidential personnel choices on bureaucratic performance at both the individual and program or agency levels.
Throughout our nation's history, ambassadorships have exemplified the debate about presidential choice and government performance.
But extensive legislative reforms, the occasional journalistic piece on the price of ambassadorships, and constant complaints from retired careerists and the AFSA have not deterred presidents (or potential ambassadors).
Institutional Features of Ambassadorships and Embassies
Though frequently in the news during the presidential nomination and Senate confirmation process, ambassadorships and embassies overseas are often forgotten by the public and even political leaders until a problem or scandal occurs.
All ambassadorships require presidential nomination and Senate confirmation, with the stature and legitimacy that this authority commands both within and without the bureaucracy.
Given this institutional and historical context, are political appointees filling ambassadorships at a severe disadvantage in comparison to career diplomats?
In some cases, the State Department assigns career diplomats to ambassadorships for which they have neither regional nor language expertise; and both ambassadors and DCMs without such qualifications perform well on measures of leadership and internal management.
All ambassadorships are subject to presidential appointment and Senate confirmation, and thus all ambassadors.
Once you have recruited two new members and signed their membership applications, your Ambassadorship is secure, and a lapel pin identifying you as an Ambassador will be sent.
The Ambassadorship is an easy way to keep the resolution, but there are other ways to get involved: NEHA also has an Endowment Fund and a Scholarship Fund to which you could contribute.