Manuscripts/Mixed Material Interview with William Primosch
PRIMOSCH: At the time I went back for a short stint in the East European office working with Carl Schmidt and Harry Gilmore, who were old hands in the region, prior to going to the economics course at the Foreign Service Institute. Things worked out well during those months and I was offered a job the following summer as the economic officer for Hungary, Bulgaria, and Poland.
Q: Let's talk a bit about in 1978 the economics training.
PRIMOSCH: It was a very rigorous training. In retrospect, it was a bit too academic. I didn't find that I used a heck of a lot of it later on, although there were some good parts to the course and it reinforced some of the economics courses that I had had at the graduate school level. Overall, it served its purpose, but it was a bit too academic. We spent a lot of time learning statistics, which was excruciating for those who were not mathematically inclined. I never used that later on at the State Department or overseas.
Q: You went to what bureau?
PRIMOSCH: The European Bureau in the Office of East European Affairs.
Q: From when to when?
PRIMOSCH: From '79 through '81.
Q: And you had what?
PRIMOSCH: We had two economic officers in the Office of East European Affairs. I was the economic officer for Hungary, Poland, and Bulgaria. Bob Bradtke, who has had a very distinguished Foreign Service career, was the economic officer for Yugoslavia.
Q: Is he still in?
PRIMOSCH: He was at the NSC as the executive secretary there. He may still be over there. (Later Deputy Assistant Secretary in EUR and Ambassador-designate to Croatia.)