Page 40 - Foreign Service Journal - April 2013

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40
april 2013
|
the foreign Service journal
Review. Tat process prompted a number of organizational
changes and realignments that show initial promise.
Tose reforms are still a work in progress, and will require
several years of continued efort to ensure a permanent impact
on departmental operations. Fortunately, the Senate now has
mandated that the QDDR be submitted to Congress every four
years, giving the process institutional longevity and the potential
for achieving genuine long-term change and reform at State.
Time for a New SOS?
As the new Secretary of State, John Kerry brings a depth
of personal and professional experience to Foggy Bottom
unmatched by most of his predecessors. From his tenure in
the Senate and as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee, he should be well versed in the department’s
budgetary and staffing shortfalls. Hopefully, he will engage as
vigorously on those essential management concerns as with
policy issues.
Writing in the October 2012 issue of
Te Foreign Service
Journal
, Shawn Dorman explains that the new Foreign Service
generation (those hired after 9/11) confronts many of the same
problems we addressed in our call to action 13 years ago. She
quotes new hires who describe a “stifing State Department
culture” where “new ideas never go anywhere” and change pro-
ceeds at a “snail’s pace,” and notes the need for “outside-the-box
responsiveness.”
Perhaps the time has come for another SOS for DOS cam-
paign. Fundamental change at State depends frst and foremost
on action by its own personnel. We remain convinced that it
is still possible for individuals to make a diference when they
come together.
Back in 2000, we tapped into the underlying spirit, enthusi-
asm and dedication of all State Department employees, Foreign
and Civil Service alike, to maintain and strengthen the nation’s
premier foreign policy establishment. We leave it to those who
follow after us to carry on that role.
n