Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with Douglas G. Hartley
The consul general had left. I actually spent about four months in charge of the post, which was kind of fun. It was a big post, I think the second or third largest consulate in the world. So I got some interesting little managerial experience through that. But the other thing was that I was in the situation of not having been promoted and I was either going to get caught by the—what was it, six years in grade—or the last six years?
Q: They kept changing it.
HARTLEY: In any event, they had me pinned down more or less whichever way I looked. It was unlikely that I would be getting another promotion, although I had gotten a promotion while I was in Brazil. But that was up to the then FS-1 level, so I wasn't going to get much further. So it was a good thing to come back to the States and get acclimatized. First of all, I had been overseas a total of 25 years. I didn't know anything about the States. I had never really lived in the U.S. for any length of time. I did not have a contact base, though, never having been to school here—which a lot of people found was useful. Though I had been to college, of course but not in the DC area. But it just seemed to be the right thing to leave. I was approached by Personnel about a number of other overseas posts, the most likely one being Panama as political officer. I had no desire to go to Panama. I could have probably gone to Barbados, which would have been quite an interesting post. Then there were other offers, but basically we wanted to get home. So we did. We bought a house on 34th street in Washington, and moved in there. Then I started my job in the U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States.
Q: You were in the OAS from '84 to...?
HARTLEY: '84 to '86. This is a peculiar beast, the OAS Mission, because it is an international mission. It is a mission to an international organization, which happens to be based in Washington, therefore the mission happens to exist within the State Department. It was sort of, I felt, neither fish, flesh, nor fowl. You were in the State Department, but not actually of it. My job was not particularly interesting. I was what you call Mission Coordinator, which was, as its sound implies, meant to coordinate the various elements of the mission. But over the years, the elements of the mission had shrunk of their own accord. It really wasn't a very well defined job.