In December 1963, during the time that I was chairman of the Policy Planning Council at the State Department (December 1961-March 1966), I was asked to speak at the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. This was a rare opportunity for a busy public servant to pause, reflect on, and try to explain what he thought he was doing. The essay that follows is an edited version of that talk. It faithfully reports the notions I brought to the task and the major facets of the job in my time. Working with the unfailing support of Secretary of State Dean Rusk, with direct access to Presidents Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, surrounded by able, strong-minded colleagues, I felt fortunate in the post, then and in retrospect.