Monday, September 24, 2018, 11:30 AM

“Tribalism and American Foreign Policy”

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman asserts that the politics reigning over “tribalized” societies is “‘rule or die’ — either my tribe or sect is in power or we’re dead.”

Ambassador Robert M. Beecroft retired from the Foreign Service in 2006 with the rank of Career Minister-Counselor, after 35 years of service.   From 2001 to 2004, following his confirmation as Ambassador by the Senate, he served in Sarajevo, leading the Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). From 2004 to 2006, Ambassador Beecroft was a Professor of National Security Strategy at the National War College in Washington.  From 2006 to 2009, he was Vice President for Diplomacy and Development at MPRI, Inc., a division of the L-3 Corporation.  He returned to the State Department from 2009 to 2016 as a Supervisory Senior Inspector in the Office of the Inspector General, leading inspections of U.S. diplomatic operations in Kuwait, Syria, Taiwan, Vietnam, Ukraine, Belarus, and Lithuania, and five geographic and functional bureaus in the State Department.

Luncheons are held at the Holiday Inn, Westpark, in Rosslyn, VA. The luncheon begins at 11:30 with a social period followed by lunch, the presentation, and a question and answer session and ends by 1:30 PM.  The cost of the luncheon is $25 for COFFE members and $30 for non-members.

COFFE was established in November 1988 and we are celebrating 30 years of “Promoting Quality Public Service” during this luncheon season (September 2018 – May 2019).  We urge non-members who attend luncheons to help support COFFE by joining.   The annual dues are $30 – tax deductible.  The recent increase in the luncheon price is intended as an incentive to increase our membership to make COFFE a more forceful voice in the growing movement to protect civil servants.

We wish to thank our partner organizations, the Federal Executive Institute Alumni Association (FEIAA), the Senior Executive Association (SEA), National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), and the National Capital Area Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (NCAC) for helping to spread the word about COFFE”s luncheons.




Congressman Don Beyer began by stating that he represents more Federal employees than any other member of Congress.  Continuing he said, “I am profoundly concerned with the impact this Administration is having on the Federal workforce.” He noted that policies can be changed when this Administration ends but the “…belittling of government employees and harsh budget cuts may irreparably harm our Federal workforce.”  The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session.

 A full review of Congressman Beyer’s presentation is included in the COFFE News which is distributed to COFFE members.  Join COFFE and stay informed even on those occasions when you cannot attend the monthly luncheon.


In collaboration with the Arlington Public School System and to promote interest in public service, COFFE has initiated a program where one teacher each month is able to attend our luncheon, as our guest. Both teachers and students benefit from this collaboration.


Michael Lawliss, a MPA candidate in the George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration was selected, from 31 applicants, to receive the 2018 Council of Former Federal Executives Public Service Scholarship in the amount of $2000.

Michael is a 2014 graduate of the University of Vermont in Burlington.  He holds a BA in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration.  After graduating from the University of Vermont, Michael began working in the office of Senator Bernie Sanders as a Legislative Intern before becoming a Staff Assistant and then Legislative Correspondent.  Michael’s ultimate goal is to work at the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer so that he can have a role in shaping our foreign policy goals.

In his scholarship application, Michael wrote:  “As someone who has been interested in politics my entire life, I believe public service is the best way I can make a real difference in the lives of the American people.”

With young people like Michael pursuing careers in government, there is a reason for optimism about the future of public service!


Founded in 1988, COFFE’s objectives are to support public service and to enable current and former federal and local government executives and all other members of the public who are interested, to keep abreast of major government policy and operations issues.  COFFE is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization.  COFFE and Associates welcome all who are interested in promoting public service and learning about major policy issues to attend our luncheons and to become a member.  Read More