There are definitely institutional pressures to focus on short-term considerations, especially for those offices that play bigger roles in quickly-evolving bilateral and multilateral issues. The more technical offices (also called functional bureaus) that have subject matter experts working on longer term strategic issues, and being called on to review the quicker/shorter-term considerations. These tend to have a higher number of Civil Service employees who are in the office for decades (unlike Foreign Service who are in a specific position for 1-3 years), making longterm considerations easier. Overall, I don't think State suffers as much from an emphasis on short-term considerations as other Departments might since the bulk of State's work isn't focused on partisan issues or dependent on election cycles.
This is a great point - diplomats are often reminded (even as early as onboarding) that we must be willing to implement policies we don’t agree with. This point perhaps didn’t come to mind when drafting because this scenario can be avoided by selecting diplomatic assignments where you agree with the mission. This is also probably easier for diplomats (like me) who are in the Economic career track. The offices/countries where I’ve worked, we’ve pursued long-term sustainable economic growth, energy resilience, earthquake preparedness, science/tech/health cooperation, and better/expanded social safety nets. The risk for being assigned somewhere you do not agree with is highest in the first four years when you have limited control of where you go.
To use your example of aid cuts for illustrating how nuanced this can be: diplomats are likely to fight tooth-and-nail against aid cuts in countries that need it. While the diplomat might have the bad luck of delivering the news, they’ll have been in a position to fight the cuts for months (within the government, not publicly). The diplomats might then be able to pursue other types of financial support, citing lack of aid as a major reason.
Thanks for the feedback. I actually would like the article to be considered by non-US citizens to consider joining their own Foreign Service. I was deciding between making the article more generalizable vs U.S. centric. I made the title more U.S. centric for efficiency/sorting purposes but have added a paragraph of my estimate for other countries' diplomacy careers at the very top. Overall, I think the scale of staffing size makes smaller countries' diplomatic careers competitive, despite the varying geopolitical influence of other countries.
The EA strategy of private donation would sell well to Republicans: both to minimize suffering due to poverty as well as mitigate poverty's destabilizing effects in regions critical to US interests. Some of the Republicans I've debated about poverty pointed to the role of the private citizen, churches, and NGOs to do that, not the government.
EA also lends itself to a Republican emphasis on national security, particularly nuclear strategy and short term artificial intelligence cyber warfare strategies.
The humanist/atheist, tech world, and Cali overrepresentation is probably the biggest reason EA is low on Republicans.
I agree that this has the potential to be highly impactful and it's definitely neglected. The fact that it can piggy-back on increasing exposure to non-EAs about EA topics makes this more persuasive, even if it the number of people helped might be small.
My only question would be whether that spare volunteer capacity could/would be used to persuade/train/target people within the DMV - since they are in a position to greatly increase the number of people who sign up by spending only an extra 2-3 seconds nudging people toward a yes, since it's a standard question for the driver's license application. I've read a study somewhere about how this was surprisingly effective - but I do realize this is a significant change in trajectory, but good to point out nonetheless.
I also see a potential upside of having more people wonder what other neglected topics can have outsized effects, thus a great lead-in to EA topics. If this were to become another cause area, it could garner some momentum, possibly enough to pressure some officials to contemplate an opt-out system, rather than the current opt-in system which would theoretically rid us of this shortage with only a nudge.
Based on my own experience of writing a book on college scholarship strategies for low-income students, I think you could write a < 200-page book fairly quickly, perhaps in <2 hours a day for 40-60 days, especially since you already have a lot of writing material to pull from. (I wrote my 120-page book in a month by writing 1200 words every single weekday, about 1.5 hours of writing daily.) I used an accountability program led by a self-help author. One trick to quicken the process is to take a week to create a REALLY detailed table of contents so there's complete clarity about what you (and your coauthors) need to write next.
I think there are a number of 80% solutions that are far better than this wonderful future book not happening at all. You could probably get an EA grant to either take a month off to write it or perhaps even a ghostwriter to compile 40% of the book from your blog posts based on your detailed table of contents.
If you're open to self-publishing, you could give that 40-60 day messy first draft over to an intensive editing service at a cost of $4k-$5k. While I opted for self-publishing to update/edit it after it's live and to set the book at a lower price, a publisher would probably make this way easier with marketing and in-house editing.
Happy to answer more questions. I'll also potentially be making a tiny publishing LLC to publish my book that will have an EA-like name which you're free to use to buy your ISBN if you want to also self-publish.