Great Diversions mentions the good news that the State Department finally got some money to hire more diplomats than the rate of attrition:
The Department of State finally received a little extra funding that can be used toward hiring. A State cable (or telegram…yes…we still use telegrams) came out recently announcing how the Department will use some of the funds it received from the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008. The good news, especially if you’re looking to join the Foreign Service, is that some of that money will be used to hire 140 new Officers above attrition rates.
This increase in hiring represents the first increase over attrition in FSO generalists since 2004. In an age where even the Secretary of Defense says we need to hire more diplomats, this comes as welcome news and hopefully is a sign of more money in the future. In addition to hiring more FSOs, some of the money will be used to hire over 100 Eligible Family Members (the spouses and adults children of diplomats overseas) into new positions.
Of course, Members of Household don't count as Eligible Family Members. So none of those 100 jobs will be open to same-sex partners of diplomats. In fact, same-sex partners of diplomats when applying for any job at a consulate or embassy where their partner is serving must first allow EFMs to apply and if there is no qualified EFM available, must compete with every other ex-pat in the community. Even though they are in country because their partner is serving the country, something not true of most ex-pats.