Browsing all articles in State Department

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Spending bills threaten Foreign Service pay and hiring

Spending bills threaten Foreign Service pay and hiring

Legislation that significantly reduces Foreign Service pay would hinder the State Department’s ability to conduct its mission, observers say.
The Senate Appropriations committee late last month approved a funding bill for 2012 that would cut State’s budget by 8 percent, while the House Appropriations committee is holding on to legislation that would reduce funding by 18 percent [...]

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Cat fight at U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Cat fight at U.S. Embassy in Kabul

Veteran diplomat Ryan C. Crocker can handle Islamist insurgencies, hostile heads of state and management of some of the world’s largest embassies. But what’s he going to do about the cats?
The new leader of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul has probably already walked past (and possibly petted?) Gordo, Freckles, Dusty, Ferdinand and Maria Teresa or [...]

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City of Men: The Foreign Policy Community’s Women Retention Problem

City of Men: The Foreign Policy Community’s Women Retention Problem

Micah Zenko points out in a recent piece for Foreign Policy the glaring lack of women in Washington’s foreign policy community. Searching for numbers to support her assumptions, Zenko found less than 30 percent of policy and leadership positions held by women when she reviewed Washington’s ten most prominent think tanks.
The Center for Strategic and [...]

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Hearing highlights need for Foreign Service training, lack of congressional interest

Hearing highlights need for Foreign Service training, lack of congressional interest

At a time when some North African and Middle East states are in chaos and America is posting large numbers of civilians in war zones, the United States is sending Foreign Service officers abroad poorly equipped to deal with the critical situations they face.
That’s the takeaway of a report by the American Academy of Diplomacy and [...]

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U.S. Foreign Service: on the front lines in Egypt

U.S. Foreign Service: on the front lines in Egypt

It is right and natural that we devote a great deal of time deliberating about the foreign policy and other implications of the events unfolding in Egypt. For Egypt, these events constitute a national crisis; for the United States, a foreign-policy crisis. But for many individuals, these events also represent a personal crisis. These include [...]

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Language proficiency is Foreign Service’s ‘greatest challenge’

Language proficiency is Foreign Service’s ‘greatest challenge’

The Washington Post’s Joe Davidson discusses the current language proficiency shortfalls facing the State Department:
Workers from State still meet at that location, presumably for more lofty deliberations than those found in most saloons. The American Foreign Service Association owned the Foreign Service Club, but decided to get out of the restaurant and bar business years [...]

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State Department Interns Wait (And Wait, And Wait)

State Department Interns Wait (And Wait, And Wait)

When Paul Farmer, the physician and globe-trotting Harvard professor celebrated for his work on public health in Haiti, pulled out of the running last year to lead the U.S. Agency for International Development, critics were quick to blame the vetting process.

“I still think the proper response is to throw the vetters overboard — if a [...]

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State Department Budget: Winners and Losers

State Department Budget: Winners and Losers

The president’s budget request for the State Department and foreign operations includes funding for 599 new jobs, 75 percent of those overseas. One-hundred thirty of those will go to expanded diplomatic and consular operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The rest are spread around the State Department and the world.
Here are some of the bureaus [...]

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2011 Budget Proposes 410 Additional Foreign Service Officers

2011 Budget Proposes 410 Additional Foreign Service Officers

The State Department is one of the few winners in the president’s proposed 2011 budget, with funding for the department and related international programs rising to $58 billion.
That amounts to a 2.8 percent increase, assuming Congress approves a pending supplemental foreign-affairs budget for this year.
Much of the proposed increase would go toward programs in Iraq, [...]

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Kerry, Lugar Introduce Legislation to Strengthen U.S. Diplomacy

Kerry, Lugar Introduce Legislation to Strengthen U.S. Diplomacy

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Ranking Member Dick Lugar (R-IN) today introduced comprehensive bi-partisan legislation that will provide authority, policy guidance, and operational oversight to the State Department.
The Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 supports provisions to improve the State Department’s public diplomacy mission and to [...]

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