World Food Prize Ambassador Quinn
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THE ARCHIVE OF AMBASSADOR KENNETH M. QUINN
FROM THE MISSISSIPPI TO THE MEKONG
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Dealing with a Serious Security Breach in a Confined Space

22/5/86

In 1986, while serving as Deputy Executive Secretary of the State Department, Amb. Quinn has to deal with a serious security lapse while on a trip to a communist country. Needing to investigate the matter, Amb. Quinn has to interview the American officer involved, who happened to be a woman. The only place considered safe for a classified conversation was about the size of a telephone booth where the two individuals would be standing almost nose-to-nose together. Aware of the potential for such close proximity could bring to a charge of inappropriate physical contact, Amb. Quinn turns to another female officer on his staff whom he includes in this closed off facility. Even though the three persons were in fact jammed into this crowded but secure facility, having the witness there ensured that there would be no potential accusations. He indicates that he carried this lesson about the importance of transparency throughout the rest of his career. 

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