“Blueprints for a More Modern US Diplomatic Service”

Blueprints for a More Modern U.S. Diplomatic Service is an actionable guide for producing operationally significant changes in the ways the United States organizes and executes its diplomacy.

The Blueprints draw on the recommendations developed by several hallmark reports, including A U.S. Diplomatic Service for the 21st Century by Harvard University’s Belfer Center and the Academy’s Strengthening the Department of State and Bringing America’s Multilateral Diplomacy into the 21st Century, and focus on four concrete action areas:

Blueprint 1: Mission and Mandate, which addresses the need for a renewed and revised mission and mandate for America’s diplomatic service;

Blueprint 2: Professional Education and Training, which answers the requirement to increase the professional capacities of U.S. diplomats by expanding opportunities for professional education and training;

Blueprint 3: Personnel, which focuses on the necessary steps for making the personnel system more modern and flexible; and,

Blueprint 4: Diplomatic Reserve Corps, which lays out the need for and the process for the establishment of a Diplomatic Reserve Corps.

The foundational tenets of diversity and inclusion, changing the culture at the State Department, and getting better connected to the American people are embedded in all four Blueprints and are crucial to achieving success.

The Blueprints are a product of The American Diplomacy Project – Phase II, which is co-chaired by Ambassadors (ret.) Marc Grossman and Marcie Ries and implemented in collaboration with the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, the Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab at the Arizona State University, and the American Academy of Diplomacy, which was responsible for Blueprint 2: Professional Education and Training.

This is not another report. We offer practical, achievable plans. Each Blueprint comes with the comprehensive legislative and regulatory language necessary to carry it out.

Ambassadors (ret.) Marc Grossman and Marcie Ries,
Co-Chairs of American Diplomacy Project II


Video of the report event on May 31, 2023 at the Meridian International Center featuring a moderated discussion between CNN National Security Correspondent Kylie Atwood, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN). Co-author of the report, Ambassador Marc Grossman and Executive Director of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, Ambassador Jo Ellen Powell highlighted the key points in the report.