“Strengthening the Department of State”

Effective American diplomacy demands a strong Department of State to execute it.  The Academy’s new report offers the Department recommendations for how to enhance its structures and processes to better identify, recruit, train, support, equip, and protect its people in the Foreign and Civil Service.

The report offers ways to strengthen the Department in four broad categories:

I.    Forward Presence and Field Effectiveness
II.   Foreign Service Specialists
III. Civil Service
IV.  Professional Education and Training

The report specifically focuses on issues and actions that would allow the Department to enhance its operations on its own, without the need for congressional or Executive actions. The ultimate goal was to present these ideas in time for use by the current team.

In developing this report the Academy brought together such top experts, as former Directors General, senior leaders including former Deputy Secretary William Burns and Undersecretary Thomas Shannon in cooperation with the Partnership for Public Service, along with many others.


Secretary Pompeo is looking for ways to up performance.  In response we’re proposing new ways to meet his goals based on deep experience.

Ambassador (ret.) Thomas R. Pickering

The concept of excepted service, as described in the report, is an idea whose time has come. Its inclusion in the report highlights the Academy’s concern for advancing American diplomacy by enhancing the Secretary’s and the Department’s ability to conduct diplomacy calling on all aspects of the Department’s workforce.

Ambassador (ret.) Thomas A. Shannon

State’s strength is in its people.  It’s past time to invest in them.

Ambassador (ret.) Ronald E. Neumann