foreign service

The State Department has closed a total of 19 diplomatic posts in the Middle East, North Africa, and East Africa and has ordered the U.S. Embassy in Yemen evacuated. But what exactly does that mean for U.S. missions and U.S. citizens abroad? To find out, we talked to a current State Department Foreign Service officer who is on detail at the American Foreign Service Association, a union for diplomats.

Both efforts need to bring us into the 21st century by also allowing our foreign service to use social media. If the foreign services of our U.S. and European allies can use the tools of public diplomacy – to blog, tweet and speak out in support of their national interests – why can’t we? Today’s foreign service long ago embraced the tenets of guerrilla diplomacy, exchanging pinstripes for a backpack.

It's apt that Simon Fraser, permanent under-secretary to the Foreign Office, head of the diplomatic service and chair of the FCO board, should have a copy of Henry Kissinger's seminal work, Diplomacy, in his Whitehall office.

In spite of September’s deadly attack on the American consulate in Benghazi that claimed the lives of an ambassador and three others, the U.S. Foreign Service has more applicants than ever.

The Academy Awards’ “Best Picture” tells the story of the rescue of six U.S. diplomats during the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-80. But, for all that it’s a movie about diplomats, it tells nothing of the men and women who represent the United States abroad, the challenges they face and how prepared – or ill prepared – they are to face those challenges, says Nicholas Kralev, an expert on international affairs and diplomacy and author of a new book, “America’s Other Army: The U.S. Foreign Service and 21st Century Diplomacy."

In his first day at the office as secretary of state on Monday, John Kerry sought to send the message that he had an affinity for the nation’s diplomats and would look after their security. “Exhilarating to walk into @StateDept today,” Mr. Kerry, who is the son of a diplomat, posted on Twitter. “Dad on mind! JK.”

As part of an effort to continue to attract smart, dynamic, capable people into the Foreign Service, the Department of State is releasing a new one-minute trailer and an accompanying short video that showcases the faces and stories of the amazing men and women who have helped make the world a better place through a career in the Foreign Service.

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