THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
want to return time and value to employees, and accentuate
personal growth and development. We are switching from a
model that evaluates the six current competencies to one that
appraises effectiveness, which integrates and implements the
competencies, in three areas: people, policy and programs.
Our goal is not merely evaluative, but to build employees’
professional development, providing training and support so
they become effective leaders, managers and diplomatic prac-
Continuity and Transformation
The Foreign Service is America’s front line. We are in the
information business: identifying, analyzing, disseminating
and making recommendations to prevent, preempt or solve
problems. We are also in the networking business: identifying
and cultivating programmatically influential people in all fields.
And we are in the advocacy business: discussing, negotiating,
persuading and convincing others to act with and for us.
None of that will change. We will continue to equip our
employees with the resources and tools to succeed in an
increasingly turbulent world.
At the same time, we know we are not the Foreign Service of
1950, 2001 or even 2010. More than ever, we need the very best
people: the ones who see past the horizon; who are curious,
innovative, tenacious; who show initiative, judgment, resilience,
adaptability and perseverance. We’ve always had those employ-
ees, but it’s more important than ever to attract and prepare a
workforce for the future, bearing in mind that such attributes
are often best learned and honed through real-life experience.
The reforms we are launching are designed to do just that:
build capacity, experience and perspective. We will retest, reeval-
uate and refresh policies and programs constantly. Our partner-
ship with AFSA can both drive and smooth these changes.
A Foreign Service geared to and equipped for 2025 is not
built in a day. But we are committed to that transformational
The State Department
has internal stresses
arising from feast-and-
famine hiring and from
institutional growing pains.