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How to become an Ambassador?

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    How to become an Ambassador?

    Is s/he politically appointed or do you have to clear some exams, run through the bureaucratic process ... stay in the ministry for some years and when your time comes ... you become an Ambassador?

    Any difference in how the process works in US as to back home in Pakistan?
    I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
    - Robert McCloskey

    I wouldn't know about Pakistan but in India a person in the Foreign Service can become a Consul General/Ambassador .However ambassadors can also be political appointees(much like State Governors in India) and normally remain so during the pleasure of the Government. To get into the Indian Foreign Service a person has to clear the Civil Services Exam.


      the system is similar in Pakistan.. and both are based on British model.

      the ambassadors are civil servants.. mostly they gain their rights to be ambassador in bigger and important countries by serving in smaller countries for short periods .. a few years..

      of course networking and political leaning also helps on the way.


        In addition to the above, sometimes also retired army/ Navy/ Airforce Generals/ Admirals or other high rank officers get appointed as an Ambassador to any given Country. My dad is a diplomat too, served in several countries before. And now we are in Holland.

        The Pakistani Ambassador to the Netherlands we had here was a retired Highest ranking office in the Navy.

        Sometimes, a Consular also becomes an Ambassador after having worked as a Consular in a country.


          As others have explained, there are two ways of getting there.

          1. Take CSS exams, score high marks, do well in the interview, opt for Foreign Service. Work for 25-30 years in many different places, starting from junior officer. One may be posted in Islamabad, or in Timbukto or Washington (also depends on the connections and jaan-pehchaan). Afterwards, if one is good or has good connections, s/he will be made ambassador/Counsel-General. Its tenure posting, and you will retire at the age of 60. These are called 'career diplomats'.

          2. Be anything, businessman, journalist, political leader, General, Admiral, etc. Use the political connections and one can land any of the choicest ambassadorships. No experience required. The job lasts till the person who appointed you keeps his. These are called 'political appointees'.

          There are no hard and fast rules, but usually the best ambassadorships are given to people in category #2, while those in #1 land up in Africa, or South America.

          Just kiddin...

          Many career diplomats are ambassadors in Europe, middle east and far-east.


            Peacemaker, answered the question very well and I have to agree with him 100%. The best ambassador is the one who can spy well ... so no basic exam clearing is needed only a person with open eyes/ears and mind is needed. Usually people who do good in exams are not very good in real life (I am not saying all of them but 75% of them are bookwarms).

            This rule also applies all over the world not only in India or Pakistan.