Having worked for Assistant Secretary Richard Holbrooke for a year and a half, Amb. Quinn describes how he took an unusual turn in his career, forgoing a likely high profile job in the State Department to return to his home state where he would work for the Republican Governor of Iowa Robert D. Ray. In leaving the State Department, Amb. Quinn recalls that there were two significant issues in which he had been involved, but which had not come to any resolution: refugees from Indochina and diplomatic relations with China, which lead to bitter arguments between the State Department and the National Security Council. Amb. Quinn would unexpectedly find himself involved in both matters again while serving in the state capitol in Des Moines.