THE STATE DEPARTMENT: Undiplomatic Reforms

Charles W. Thomas was a desperate man. A lawyer and a career diplomat, Thomas, 45, had been "selected out" of the Foreign Service. Reason: he had not been promoted from the Class 4 level to Class 3 within the mandatory eight years. He was dismissed with only one year's salary and $323 a month (money he had himself put into a retirement fund) to support a wife and two children. In nearly three dispiriting years Thomas endured nearly 2,000 job rejection letters; he was "too old" or "too qualified," and anyway, he...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!