The Academy was founded in 1983 by Ambassadors Ellsworth Bunker and U. Alexis Johnson, who together with John J. McCloy convened a meeting to explore ways in which persons who had served in positions of major responsibility could cooperate to promote the highest standards in American diplomatic practice. They were encouraged in this effort by several of the then-serving members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Today, the Academy continues its mission and is dedicated to strengthening the resources and tools America brings to managing its diplomatic challenges. It accomplishes this through outreach programs, lectures, awards, publications, and writing competitions. Through these activities, the Academy promotes an understanding of the importance of diplomacy to serving our nation and improving the practice of American foreign policy. Since 2008, the Academy has focused particularly on issues of resources, personnel strength, and professional education and training for todayís diplomats. Both the world and the Foreign Service are changing. New problems of inadequate numbers of mid-career officers, security worries, and expansion of the requirements for diplomacy make it imperative that the Foreign Service and its companion services under the authority of the Secretary of State continue to adapt to provide the highest quality of professionalism in service to the nationís foreign policy goals.

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