2011 Annual Meeting
The Academy’s 2011 Annual Meeting was held on Monday, May 9, 2011 at the The DLA Piper/ Cohen Group in Washington DC.
The Academy was pleased to host Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Thomas Nides as the luncheon keynote at this off-the-record event.
Below is a summary from the Office of the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and resources following the off-the-record event:
Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Thomas Nides served as the luncheon keynote at the AAD’s 2011 Annual Meeting on Monday, May 9. He opened his remarks with his views of the key strengths of the Department of State as well as its greatest challenges for the future. Deputy Secretary Nides praised the talent and dedication of Foreign Service officers, especially given the complexity and challenges of the world today. Additionally, he highlighted the new and emerging roles of the State Department, including managing the transition from military to civilian leadership in Iraq; participating in what he identified as the “third surge,” or whole of government civilian effort in Afghanistan; and adapting to the constantly shifting conditions in the Middle East and North Africa, particularly evolving U.S. policy towards Libya. Shifting to the budgetary challenges facing the Department, Deputy Secretary Nides discussed the enormous challenges State faces in the current budget climate and how that impacts the Department’s needs to fulfill these new functions. He noted that the Department of State did not receive the budget it had requested in 2011, and may face the same situation in 2012, even though State will play an increasingly important role in Iraq. To navigate these budget hurdles, State has proposed a separate Overseas Contingency Operations budget to provide the resources necessary for the temporary and extraordinary requirements for the diplomatic missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, similar in form to that of the OCO funds at the Department of Defense. In conclusion, he applauded efforts made by DOD leadership to support the expansion of State’s budget.
During the question and answer section, Deputy Secretary Nides called for an increased focus on the national security component of State’s work and also the economic role played by Embassies abroad. He also discussed ways in which the State Department leadership is looking to improve the function of the Department to make it “better, faster, and smarter.” These include new approaches as outlined in the QDDR, greater focus on 21st century diplomacy that utilizes emerging communications tools, and enhancing the role of Ambassadors as CEOs at Missions. Deputy Secretary Nides also noted that Secretary Clinton has been committed to reaching the goal of a 25% increase in Foreign Service staffing at State, but again highlighted the difficulty provided by the uncertainty of the current budget climate.
Keynote Speaker Biography: Thomas Nides
Thomas Nides is Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, serving as Chief Operating Officer of the Department. Mr. Nides has also served as the Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Stanley, Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer of Burson-Marsteller and as Chief Administrative Officer of Credit Suisse First Boston. He began his career on Capitol Hill, as Assistant to the Majority Whip of the United States House of Representatives and Executive Assistant to the Speaker of the House. Mr. Nides later served as Senior Vice President of Fannie Mae and as Chief of Staff to the United States Trade Representative