state department

Ben Cardin (Md.), ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has had enough with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s mismanagement. On Tuesday, he sent a blistering letter[.] [...] The notion that one can run a giant organization out of a senior staff office is something an oil executive might think up; in government, it’s a disaster. Cutting out thousands of professional diplomats deprives one of not only expertise but also bandwidth (try managing two or three major crises with only a couple of dozen key players).

Several times a week the State Department sends a greeting to a foreign country on the occasion of its national day. By tradition, the salutations have been written by low-level diplomats and routinely approved by their superiors. But not anymore. Now the messages go through Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s office, where his top assistants insist on vetting them, and where they often sit for weeks before coming back with extensive editing changes, according to several department officials.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is defending his efforts to redesign the State Department, but the process has left many of its 36,000 employees in Washington and around the world feeling anxious about their mission. Tillerson was welcomed warmly to the State Department six months ago. But some current and former ambassadors and foreign policy experts say they are worried about a number of indications that the Trump administration plans to lower the priority of promoting democracy and human rights in U.S. foreign policy.

August 7, 2017

Language Learning with Emojis World Emoji Day

Four alumni of the State Department's NSLI-Y program use the popular messaging icons to explain a few words in Mandarin.

Computing Language

Chris Hensman & Shawn Powers discuss how the rise of digital technology poses a threat to PD practitioners.

The program, which began in 2011 and is funded by a State Department grant, brings groups of international coaches, sports administrators and mostly teenage athletes to the public university's campus in Fairfax County, Virginia. [...] Participants gain a deeper understanding of inclusion and diversity in athletics, organizers say, at the same time that they get a glimpse of American culture — specifically, American sports culture.

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