Phyllis Oakley: In Memoriam

April 18, 2022: When Phyllis Elliott joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1957, at

Courtesy of American Acad. of Diplomacy

age 23, she expected a short career. She was soon to marry Robert Oakley, a man from her “basic training” class – in South Asia, where both spent a lot of time, they would be called “batch-mates.” Under the rules then in effect, she would then be forced out of the service. But she did not expect that her career would involve being spokesman for the State Department or twice Assistant Secretary of State. She was half right.

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