THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
We Are Stronger for Our Diversity
The Foreign Service is stronger for our diversity. The State Depart-
ment has worked hard to reduce barriers to LGBT diplomats
and their families serving overseas. And in countries where the
government won’t accredit the families of LGBT diplomats, many
still choose to serve, willingly facing the risk to work where being
gay is criminalized, street harassment is prevalent and LGBT activ-
ists are regularly jailed. It is in these places that the governments
and society most need to see our faces, to work alongside us in the
missions and to sit across the table from us in bilateral meetings.
This is how we make change, one diplomat at a time.
GLIFAA President FSO Kerri Hannan and
The GLIFAA Board
Diverse Foreign Service Talent
The recruitment, promotion and retention of diverse Foreign
Service talent is essential to advancing our national security and
The Foreign Service benefits from advanced capabilities in
interagency, intercultural and intergenerational planning and
decision-making, allowing it to be a leader in tackling the most
pressing global issues, even in the most complex environments.
We Are Your Foreign Policy
Your foreign policy team will have a marketing department of
3,125 people based in Washington, D.C., with branches in 188
other locations in the United States and abroad. Their job is to
get out information and to leverage personal relationships in
other countries that number in the millions.
This marketing arm is called public diplomacy, which is a
function of the Department of State. Use it right and it will serve
• It is illegal for these folks to target Americans in the United
States. They focus on foreign audiences.
• A lot of them are very talented, and to advocate our interests
they use every means of communication from Twitter to tours of
• Promoting study in the United States is a big priority for
them, because foreign students brought about $30 billion into
the U.S. economy in 2016.
• They do a lot of listening, and not just through polls. Some
of the local employees are connected to very prominent people
in their countries.
• At present, public diplomacy is focused on President Barack
Obama’s foreign policy and on the issues of importance to his
administration, as it should be. After Jan. 20, it will need to pivot
Foreign leaders depend on public support, just as you do. The
earlier your appointees focus on public diplomacy, the more
success and influence you will gain with foreign leaders.
Joe B. Johnson
Public Diplomacy Instructor,
Foreign Service Institute
Reassure the World
of America’s Role
As diplomats, we have been asked innumerable times over the
past year to explain the rhetoric emanating from this presidential
campaign. It has not been easy reassuring people that the United
States is the same country it has always been—welcoming of
immigrants, a safe harbor for the poor and oppressed looking
to build a better life, a nation holding as a core value that its
strength is found in diversity.
As official representatives of the United States, we believe
this. Our interlocutors believe that we believe this. But the deep
uneasiness I see in their eyes reveals skepticism that the new
presidential administration believes this.
The degree to which we, as the Foreign Service, can help
you advance U.S. interests abroad correlates directly to your
administration’s ability to develop and effectively communicate
a vision of America’s role in the world that does not feed into a
narrative of xenophobia, unilateralism and intolerance.
As the inauguration approaches, we—and the world—look
forward to hearing directly from you in a way that reassures
all that America will continue to play the productive, promi-
nent, indispensable role it has historically played on the global
stage; that it will remain committed to its alliances, champion
human rights and work with allies on the very real threat of
climate change; and that it will remain a force for peace and