William S. Morris III Distinguished Lecturer Series
Steve Honley — Spring 2012
Steven Alan Honley is the editor-in-chief of the Foreign Service Journal, the American Foreign Service Association’s monthly magazine (www.afsa.org/fsj). AFSA, the “Voice of the Foreign Service,” was founded in 1924 as a professional association, a role it continues to carry out. In addition, since 1973, AFSA has been the labor union representing all foreign service employees at the five foreign affairs agencies: the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Foreign Commercial Service, the Foreign Agricultural Service, and the International Broadcasting Bureau (which operates the Voice of America)./
Honley hails from Shreveport, La., where he was born in 1960. He holds a B.A. in history from Centenary College in Shreveport and an M.A. in international affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Commissioned as a political foreign service officer in the 25th A-100 Class of January 1985, Honley was stationed in Mexico City, Mexico; Wellington, New Zealand; and Washington, D.C., during his 12-year diplomatic career. While in Washington, he served two tours totaling five years in the State Department’s Political-Military Affairs Bureau. There, in addition to his regular responsibilities, he served on virtually every State Department task force from 1989 to 1991, helping to deal with issues ranging from Iraq’s August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent Persian Gulf War to the evacuations of U.S. citizens from Liberia, Panama, Haiti, and other countries.
Honley also spent three years (1991-1994) as a desk officer in the State Department’s Office of Central African Affairs. In addition to serving as the U.S. government’s main point person for relations with Cameroon throughout the period, he handled issues related to Gabon, Chad, the Central African Republic, and Sao Tome and Principe.
In September 1997, Honley left the Foreign Service to pursue a full-time creative career encompassing both music and writing. He became associate editor of the Foreign Service Journal in April 1999 and was appointed the magazine’s editor-in-chief in July 2001, a position he continues to hold. In that capacity, he works with hundreds of authors a year, oversees a staff of four, works with a volunteer editorial board, and writes regularly for the magazine.
Honley was an associate editor for all three editions of Inside a U.S. Embassy: Diplomacy at Work, AFSA’s book about Foreign Service careers. The third edition, released in 2011, has sold more than 12,000 copies to date.