us state department

The U.S. Embassy India is celebrating September as the month of U.S.-India friendship, and the diplomats are busy showcasing their respect by reciting Indian poems and taking road trips. The last two weeks have been busy for U.S. diplomats in India as they were learning Indian languages such as Hindi and Urdu to recite the poems of Ghalib and Dagh.

One of the State Department's top three senior officials is retiring this week. Ambassador D. Bruce Wharton was designated as Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R) on December 8, 2016. He was one of the top two senior officials who remained at the State Department after the January 20 transition.

The U.S. Embassy, in partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and the Ethiopian Basketball Federation, is hosting a two-day basketball clinic for Ethiopian youths from July 29-30, 2017 at the Ras-Hailu Gym in Addis Ababa.

Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson finally met with the State Department’s workforce to outline how President Donald Trump’s “America First” agenda applies to foreign policy. In his remarks, Tillerson focused on the core mission of national security. He insisted that American values still matter, but was clear that the U.S. is no longer in the business of promoting those values as universal aspirations. It’s a big loss for American influence in the world.

In advance of Mother’s Day later this week, it is a good time to reflect and recognize not only the contribution mothers make in our own lives and those of others around the world but their collective power globally. We should also call out and celebrate their unique strengths, skillsets, and experience sets. Skills and strengths that are not often championed or called out, but which could be powerful soft power assets in our broader public diplomacy strategies.

President Donald Trump's vow to put "America first" includes a plan to drastically cut assistance to developing countries and merge the State Department with USAID, according to an internal budget document and sources. The administration's March budget proposal vowed to slash aid to developing countries by over one-third, but contained few details. [...] The document details how the Trump administration's plans to reduce direct foreign assistance would take place in fiscal year 2018.

An innovative partnership between the leading private media group in the Middle East and top television writers and showrunners from the United States is taking a different approach: tackling the war of narratives. It might sound strange, or even frivolous, in the midst of an all-out war against the Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq. But, in fact, it makes perfect sense, given the cultural, ideological nature of the larger battle against extremism.

One would not expect the secretary of defense routinely to inspect the sentries and walk point on patrols, but, in effect, that is what the secretary of state has to do. He is the chief executive of a department numbering in the tens of thousands, and a budget in the tens of billions; but he is also the country’s chief diplomat, charged with conducting negotiations and doing much of the detailed work of American foreign policy. 

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