An End to the Elite Foreign Service?

A fossil of the past?

My friend David Eaves recently wrote an interesting article predicting the obsolescence of Canada’s foreign service.

David looks at the history of the service, charting it’s birth, its initial elite nature (comprised of some of the best educated and best travelled white men in the country) and its current methods of recruitment – which seem seem dead set on encouraging more of the same.

I put it out to you, dear readers – and particularly to those of you who have worked in a capacity for the federal government – is the Foreign Service and DFAIT in particular comprised of a disproportionate number of snobs? Do these snobs serve a purpose – do they have special skill sets, character, or education that enable them to do their job representing all of us abroad better than a lowly bureaucrat from HRSDC or Immigration? Maybe you get by my tone that I have an opinion about this.

More importantly, if indeed the FS needs to remodel itself, how will this effect the carefully constructed elite community of foreign service officers that has existed for decades? Good or bad?