BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
April 29, 2009
OVERVIEW OF OBJECTIVES
This Administration has inherited a gathering global storm: riots, protests, long lines of unemployed and increasingly desperate people around the world. This turmoil is the perfect incubator for demagogy, nationalism, religious extremism – any ideology that thrives on blame and anger. To too many people around the world, that enemy will be us – the architect of globalization and now the epicenter of global recession. We must seize this moment to advance and begin to deliver on a positive global agenda.
Instead of being perceived as the center of crisis, America must become the center of widening circles of peace, prosperity, opportunity, and responsibility. Over the past three months we have launched a wide range of new foreign policy initiatives aimed at the following broad goals.
- Seeking peace: tackling crises from the Middle East to South Asia with high-level attention; seeking a nuclear free world; strengthening partnerships that serve to stabilize relations, dampen conflict, and promote cooperation.
- Spreading prosperity and creating opportunity: committing to development as an equal pillar with defense and diplomacy; building a new global financial architecture; putting our own financial house in order; being responsive to people’s most essential needs and their most fundamental aspirations by advancing job creation, global education, health and human rights, including women’s rights.
- Accepting responsibility: acknowledging our own errors where we have made them, which will serve as an example to others to do the same; taking responsibility for our planet and our children by taking a lead on climate change and energy security. Giving more will enable us to ask and get more from others.
- Promoting Regional Anchors: working with key regional states to promote greater cooperation to solve problems.
In all these areas, we are leading by working alongside and with others rather than charting a course and expecting others to follow. We are bringing countries together in regional frameworks for the first time (Afghanistan and Pakistan, a broader Middle East strategy); we are engaging countries through international and regional institutions (reinstituting the NATO-Russia Council); and we are offering funds and asking other countries to match (the Gaza, Pakistan, and Haiti donors’ conferences). Using the toolkit of smart power, we are convening, connecting, persuading, and negotiating to reach our objectives. THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT OF 2009, THE 2009 SUPPLEMENTAL REQUEST, AND THE 2010 BUDGET
The Department of State was appropriated $602 million as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The President has requested $7.1 billion for State and USAID in the 2009 supplemental and $51.7 billion for State and International Assistance in his 2010 budget request.
- · The monies appropriated to the Department of State in the Recovery Act are allowing us to move forward with a number of construction projects which augment State’s training capacities, including the addition of facilities to prepare personnel and their families serving in dangerous posts overseas, provide additional passport services, and upgrade our IT platform to ensure that we have sufficient backup capabilities. The Recovery Act also specified that up to $38 million of the $602 million be transferred to the US Agency for International Development as part of their upgrade of IT capabilities.
- Funds for construction projects strengthen the State Department’s infrastructure, expand high-quality education opportunities and create jobs. Approximately 655 jobs will be created or saved due to these projects.
- The President’s 2010 budget request puts the United States on the path to double foreign assistance.
- The President’s budget also supports the worldwide operations of the Department of State and the US Agency for International Development by providing the resources to hire additional Foreign Service officers and build the civilian capacity to meet the challenges of today’s world.
- The President’s 2010 budget and 2009 supplementary request also provide funding to support the civilian resources and assistance necessary to implement the Afghanistan/Pakistan strategic review, while also funding Iraq and other assistance priorities.
The following provides additional insight into accomplishments of ARRA:Diplomatic and Consular Program Accomplishments - $90,000,000
Information Technology Capital Investment Accomplishments - $290,000,000
- Centralized Training Facility: A centralized and consolidated training facility will support all security-related training for employees assigned to critical and high threat posts.
- Added New Passport Agencies: Up to eight additional passport gateway agencies will match increasing demand for passport books/cards and support the new passport requirement for any land or sea traveler in the Western Hemisphere.
- Expanded Training Capacity: Expanding classroom and training capacity for information technology and language training at the National Foreign Affairs Training Center.
Office of Inspector General - $2,000,000
- Established New Data Center to Reduce Risk: A second highly available and scalable redundant data center will provide processing and storage for enterprise systems, reduce the Department’s risk and provide for future IT growth.
- Updated IT Platform: An updated IT platform will replace antiquated components of the Department’s IT platform, including phone systems and computers essential for classified and unclassified processing, and will provide enhanced mobile access to employees, ensuring continuity of operations and support for “green” initiatives.
- Deployed Stronger Computer Security Systems: Stronger computer security systems will reduce cyber attacks against the Department of State and safeguard computer equipment. These deployments will be supplemented by training courses enabling Department employees to protect against cyber threats.
International Boundary and Water Commission Construction Accomplishments - $220,000,000
- Expanded Oversight by Office of Inspector General: OIG will provide oversight of the programs funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
- Invested in Rio Grande Flood Control System: The State Department is investing in the evaluation, repair and/or rehabilitation of deficient portions of the flood control system along the Rio Grande, protecting the lives and property of over 3 million U.S. residents in New Mexico and Texas.
Named Jacob Lew as Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources: Secretary Clinton added a Deputy Secretary to engage on resource decisions, a critical role given the Administration’s priorities for the Department. Immediately upon joining State, the Deputy Secretary engaged within the Department, with OMB, and on Capitol Hill to shape and defend the State Department’s 2009 supplemental and 2010 budget requests.
Deputy Secretary Lew has been actively involved in the civilian resourcing of the Afghanistan/Pakistan strategic review and traveled to Islamabad and Kabul earlier this month to seek the views of Afghan Ministers on how to strengthen institutions, to advance plans for increased civilian staffing and to review foreign assistance implementation. The Deputy Secretary is also consulting with stakeholders to strengthen coordination and efficiency across foreign aid programs, and looking at how we make existing State Department programs work more efficiently and effectively. Efficiency and Innovation AccomplishmentsConsolidating Support Platforms
The Department plans to continue consolidating support platforms to improve customer service, continuity of operations, and efficiency.
Projecting Accountability and Responsiveness:
- Consolidated USAID/State Posts: Building off the consolidation of over 30 posts thus far, that has enabled USAID and State to reprogram US Direct Hire and Locally Employed Staff positions equal to over $5 million annually, the Department plans to work with USAID to expand consolidation to thirty missions in AID and State that will not be co-located by FY 2010 for an estimated annual cost savings of an additional $5 million.
- Consolidated Information Technology (IT) Support: The Department has consolidated desktop support service for over half of 35 bureaus and offices. Consolidation of all bureaus is projected to yield a cost saving of between 15-20% on the total cost of Department desktop support. This two-year project will be completed at the end of calendar year 2009, resulting in standardized systems and configurations across the Department with efficiencies through economies of scale, and continuity of secure operations to improve service quality within existing funding levels.
The Department plans to combine performance metrics with State personnel and financial information to provide more efficient, cross-functional analyses. Analyses-based recommendations will provide a more efficient view of resources required to manage the Department’s global operations.
- Developed Collaborative Management Initiative (CMI): A quality management system enables overseas posts to deliver high-quality, customer-focused services that are consistent, cost-effective, and measurable. The Department is currently rolling out an enhanced web-based ordering system, eServices, providing USG customers across the globe with standardized access to programs. Analysis of performance metrics collected by eServices will significantly enhance the State Department’s ability to direct resources where and when they are needed most.
- Combined the Enterprise Data Warehouse (EDW): Combining the Department’s core information into one database provides near real-time data access and quick, efficient cross-functional analyses. EDW will enhance the Department’s ability to recommend effective utilization of resources by drawing on integrated data from formerly disparate information source systems. While cost estimates are not available yet, EDW will increase response times and personnel savings by automating analyses.
- Achieved “Rightsizing” Results: Rightsizing reviews have produced an estimated annual cost savings of $279 million since 2005. Mandated by Congress, the Rightsizing program ensures that each overseas mission maintains the minimum number of personnel with the right skills to carry out its strategic goals. Since 2001, Overseas Building Operations (OBO) has completed 65 new capital projects and from 2000 to January 2009, relocated over 19,500 USG employees into new, secure facilities. This accomplishment – and planned replacement of approximately 90 more diplomatic facilities that do not meet security standards – was made possible by Capital Security Cost-Sharing program, which requires tenant agencies to pay a pro-rated portion of the overall construction program. This program provides an incentive for agencies to review, verify, and right-size their overseas presence.
- Established Human Resources Shared Services (HRSS): Over the next five years, HRSS expects a cost savings of $22 million in lower facilities costs, personnel savings, and online services. In the past, the Department’s human resources delivery was complex, decentralized, and inefficient, resulting in sub-optimal customer service and a large amount of staff focused on transactional work. Central to the reengineering of human resources services is enhanced delivery of HR services, improved customer satisfaction, and greater efficiencies. The HR shared services initiative is establishing an integrated human resources tiered service delivery system based on best practices in government and private industry.
The Office of Acquisitions Management (AQM) became a fee-for-service provider in February, 2008. This working capital fund model has allowed AQM to increase its capacity, enabling AQM to provide better service and begin strategic sourcing projects. AQM plans to focus on procurement planning, cost analysis and price negotiation. Additionally, fewer contracts should improve customer support for contract administration, oversight and close-outs.
- Consolidated Office Supply and Furniture Vendors: To simplify and standardize ordering of office supplies, the Department selected three preferred vendors of office supplies. This has streamlined administrative procedures, reduced costs and created new trend data. Anticipated cost savings range between 7% and 10%. Furthermore, the State Department’s single worldwide contract for household and basic office furniture overseas creates consistency in ordering from post to post. Under the program, furniture is guaranteed to meet US manufacturing and safety standards. Savings accrue each year through economies of scale/volume of purchases.
- Standardized Operating Environment Through Global Information Technology Modernization (GITM): A standardized operating environment (SOE) using set workstations, GITM affords a single configuration, thus enhancing IT security and reducing time in development, testing, and distribution. An SOE will improve specialized support services that enhance customer service. GITM provides significant cost savings for IT equipment purchases including 63% per workstation, 48% per monitor, and 53% per server.
- Established Single Contract for Personal Communications Devices: By instituting a single department-wide contract for cell phones and PDAs, the Department has significantly improved property accountability. In addition to allowing us to corporately manage air-time, this contracting gives us cost savings through quantity discounts.
- Consolidated Pharmaceuticals: By consolidating medical supply purchases with one vendor versus multiple, we are streamlining our administrative processes. Consolidating purchases improves shelf-life of medicines and reduces costs through volume discounts.
- Centralized Contract and Management for Local Guard Program: Centralizing contract solicitation and management of all contracting for local guards in our overseas missions will reduce posts’ workload while improving oversight and contract administration. The Department plans to achieve cost savings by standardizing the solicitation process and improving price negotiations.
Ethics, Accountability and Transparency Initiatives
- Planned Oversight Activities for ARRA: OIG has actively engaged with the Department, the Inspector General community, and the Government Accountability Office in establishing oversight mechanisms for the Department’s $602 million appropriation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). OIG’s planned oversight activities include pre- and post-award contract audits, audits and inspections of ARRA-funded projects, and fraud awareness briefings with Department employees responsible for ARRA grants, contracts, and funding.
- Enhanced OIG Middle East Regional Office: MERO provides enhanced OIG oversight of high-cost, high-risk Department programs in the Middle East and other post-conflict areas. MERO, which currently has offices in Amman and Baghdad, is in the process of establishing an additional field office in Cairo and a temporary satellite office in Kabul. The new offices will further strengthen OIG’s ability to respond to new Administration priorities in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere in the Middle East.
- Doubled Ethics Attorneys in Office of Legal Adviser: To ensure the Department had adequate resources for the transition and the early days of the Obama Administration, the Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser doubled the number of attorneys assigned to reviewing ethics issues and providing ethics advice.
- Completed Ethics Reviews for Presidential Nominees: Because the Department requires senior leaders to manage the multiple foreign policy challenges the United States faces and to head U.S. embassies abroad, the Department has the second highest number of Senate confirmed Presidential appointees in government. To help fill these positions and ensure no disqualifying conflicts of interest, the Legal Adviser’s office to date has completed ethics reviews for 23 Presidential nominees and appointees for the Obama Administration.
- Provided Focused and Personalized Training: To ensure that appointees understand and follow ethics commitments, the Legal Adviser’s office presents focused and personalized training to all new appointees on ethics, provides written materials for reference, and offers follow-up ethics advice whenever needed. In addition, the Legal Adviser’s office maintains a robust website that provides information on a broad array of ethics questions that may arise.
- Established Intranet “Sounding Board:” Secretary Clinton launched a State Department “Listening Tour” with a town hall immediately after taking office to promote an ongoing conversation with the 50,000 plus State Department employees. At the town hall, Secretary Clinton announced the Sounding Board, a space on the Intranet website for employees in the US and around the world to generate ideas and engage in conversations about making the Department as effective and productive as possible.
- Encouraged Website Transparency: Furthermore, the Department’s main website (state.gov) has increased transparency including user-defined email subscriptions, RSS feeds, as well as audio and video podcasts. The website also streamlined its process for responding to public inquiries, reducing response times dramatically. America.gov also features several elements offering greater transparency and direct engagement with its viewers such as participatory web chats and blogs about U.S. culture.
- Implemented Human Capital Accountability System: The Department’s Human Resources Bureau has implemented its FY 09 Pilot Program Evaluation Schedule, which provides for formal program evaluations of department-wide human capital programs using a diagnostic tool, the Human Capital Program Assessment Tool (HCPAT). The HCPAT focuses on program purpose/design, strategic planning, program management and program results/accountability. These enhanced program evaluation activities will provide senior management and program managers with critical feedback to determine whether programs are achieving intended goals.
OVERALL DEPARTMENT POLICY ACCOMPLISHMENTS, REGULATORY INITIATIVES, AND INTERAGENCY EFFORTS
In the first 100 Days of the Obama Administration, Secretary Clinton and the State Department have made significant progress in advancing America’s national security goals and promoting America’s values around the world.
Secretary Clinton is already the most traveled Secretary of State in a new Administration. The Secretary’s trips have included her inaugural trip to Asia, the Middle East and Europe, Mexico and across the border to Texas, the Hague in the Netherlands, Europe with President Obama, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago with President Obama, and to Iraq and Kuwait.
The work undertaken on these trips, the many bilateral and trilateral meetings hosted by Secretary Clinton, and the tireless efforts of others throughout the State Department have contributed to early and significant progress on the following priorities: Afghanistan/Pakistan policy, the Middle East, Iraq, Asia, Russia, North Korea, the Western Hemisphere, the climate crisis, engaging in public diplomacy, and other core issues. Afghanistan/Pakistan Policy
Named Ambassador Richard Holbrooke Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan: On her first day as Secretary of State –alongside President Obama and Vice President Biden – Secretary Clinton named Richard Holbrooke Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ambassador Holbrooke is responsible for coordinating Afghanistan-Pakistan efforts, not only within the State Department and with USAID, but also with the Defense Department and the National Security Council
Hosted Trilateral Meeting with Foreign Ministers from Afghanistan and Pakistan: On February 26, Secretary Clinton hosted a trilateral meeting at the State Department
with Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta and Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi to exchange views on the strategic issues, which at the time were under review by the Obama Administration.
Engaged in Afghanistan/Pakistan Strategic Review: The State Department played a central role in developing and reviewing the Administration's strategic review, with Ambassador Holbrooke serving as a co-chair of the review
. In light of the review’s recent completion, the State Department has turned its attention to implementation
Focused on Building Capacity at a Provincial Level and Creating “Alternative Livelihoods:” The State Department is taking the lead on the civilian component of the Afghanistan/Pakistan policy
, building capacity at a provincial level
– especially through recruitment procedures to get the right people in the right places – to complement the U.S. military strategy. The State Department is also focused on the creation of sustainable “alternative livelihoods” to reduce the flow of illegal narcotics
into Afghanistan and at the root of so many regional problems.
Facilitated International Conference on Afghanistan at the Hague: At the suggestion of Secretary Clinton, the Dutch government hosted an International Conference on Afghanistan at the Hague on March 31. At the conference, Secretary Clinton hosted a series of bi- and tri-lateral meetings including with Afghan President Karzai
, Foreign Minister Qureshi, General Pasha and others from Pakistan’s delegation, and representatives from key regional and donor countries (e.g., the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Jan Balkenende). Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Holbrooke together urged leaders from participating countries to address the common challenges posed by turmoil in the region through substantial pledges to Afghanistan
Conducted Diplomacy through NATO: Secretary Clinton and the State Department conducted diplomacy through NATO to solicit contributions
, among other things for the election support force, for operational mentoring and liaison teams, and for the Afghanistan National Army Trust Fund. Secretary Clinton and the State Department also consulted with allies to solicit input before the strategic review was completed
and publicly announced.
Implementing Regional Approach: Ambassador Holbrooke traveled to Tokyo
for a Pakistan donor’s conference on April 17. In May, there will be a second round of trilateral discussions with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United States in Washington DC. Middle East
Named Senator George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace. On her first day as Secretary of State – and alongside President Obama and Vice President Biden – Secretary Clinton named Senator George Mitchell as Special Envoy for Middle East Peace to reinvigorate the process for achieving peace between Israel and its neighbors.
Pledged $900 million at Gaza Donors’ Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh: Senator Mitchell traveled with Secretary Clinton to the Gaza Donors’ Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh on her second trip as Secretary of State in early March. At the Gaza Donors’ Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Secretary Clinton announced a U.S. pledge of more than $900 million
to be split among humanitarian relief for Gaza, budget support for the Palestinian Authority, and general development and security aid for the Palestinian Authority in both the West Bank and Gaza.
Invested in Civil Society: While in the West Bank, Secretary Clinton announced new grants for Palestinian students interested in studying at American universities
so that a larger pool of capable young men and women from places like the West Bank and Gaza can compete with students in other countries for the opportunity to study in America. This announcement is part of Secretary Clinton’s hallmark focus on investments in civil society and people-to-people diplomacy.
Conducted Exploratory Discussions with Syria: In Sharm el-Sheikh, Secretary Clinton announced that the U.S. would be sending two representatives to Damascus, Syria to explore renewed engagement
. Ambassador Jeff Feltman and the NSC’s Dan Shapiro traveled to the region and discussed issues of mutual concern with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mu’allim, the presidential advisor on political and media affairs, Bouthaina Shaaban, and with the Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Faisal Mekdad.
Contact with Iranian Official at the Hague: At the conference on Afghanistan at the Hague (described above), Special Representative Ambassador Holbrooke, had a very brief exchange with the head of the Iranian delegation
. A member of the U.S. extended delegation also delivered an unsigned letter to the head of the Iranian delegation seeking both information and assistance about three American citizens currently detained in Iran. Secretary Clinton has named Dennis B. Ross to be Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for The Gulf and Southwest Asia.Iraq
Engaged in Iraq Policy and Playing a Central Role in Implementation: The State Department played a central role in developing and reviewing the Administration’s
strategy to draw down American troops and transition to a fully sovereign Iraq. The State Department will help lead on 2 of the 3 elements of the Administration’s Iraq policy:
first, partnering with the Iraqi government to build institutions, promote economic development, and invest in civil society; and second, pursuing a diplomatic strategy to engage Iraq’s neighbors to ensure a stable and peaceful Iraq that is fully reintegrated into the region. The State Department has played a central role in developing and reviewing the Administration’s strategy to draw down American troops and transition to a fully sovereign Iraq. In a recent surprise trip, Secretary Clinton recently visited Baghdad where she met with Iraqi government officials and hosted a town hall with PRT contacts, government employees, and Iraqi civil society leaders. Asia
Demonstrated Trans-Pacific Partnership through Inaugural Trip to Asia: Secretary Clinton’s visit to Asia in her first trip as Secretary of State sent a clear message that the United States will be fully engaged as a trans-Pacific power and partner.
Put U.S.-China Relations on a Positive Path: While in China, Secretary Clinton met with President Hu, Premier Wen, State Councilor Dai, and Foreign Minister Tang, providing a platform for her to convey both personally and publicly that the United States wants a “positive, cooperative, relationship”
focused on global issues of common concern. Premier Wen spoke of a “new historical starting point” in U.S.-China relations.
Started to Build Comprehensive Partnership with Indonesia and Renewed Engagement with ASEAN: Secretary Clinton’s visit to Indonesia laid the groundwork for transforming the U.S. relationship with Indonesia into a comprehensive partnership
and reflected a renewed engagement with ASEAN
. In a visit to the ASEAN Secretariat, the first by a Secretary of State, Secretary Clinton announced the U.S.’ intention to launch the formal interagency process to pursue accession to the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.
Showcased Smart Power in Southeast Asia: The Secretary’s appearance in Indonesia – a key Southeast Asian nation, and also the world’s most populous Muslim country – sent a clear signal to countries of that region that the United States is once again a player there and provided the best opportunity to showcase the Secretary’s emphasis on smart power. In addition to bi-lateral meetings, Secretary Clinton hosted a dinner with civil society leaders, spent time in a neighborhood to highlight USAID/local partnerships, and appeared on a pop culture television program called “Awesome.”
Established U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue and Announced New Clean Energy Partnership: During the G-20 summit, President Obama appointed Secretary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to be Special Representatives for the United States to the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue
. The dialogue will focus on addressing the challenges and opportunities faced by both China and the United States on a wide range of bi-lateral, regional and global areas of immediate and long-term strategic interest. On Secretary Clinton's visit to China, she also announced plans to establish a new clean energy partnership between China and the United States
to develop and deploy clean energy technologies designed to speed our transformation to low-carbon economies. Russia
Continued Resetting U.S.-Russian Relations: Secretary Clinton and
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met recently in Geneva to continue resetting U.S.-Russia relations
by building on the message sent by Vice President Biden and laying the groundwork for President Obama’s first meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Secretary Clinton and Foreign Minister Lavrov set forth a work plan with specific tasks and timetables on issues of common concern to the United States and Russia.
Both diplomats placed a heavy emphasis on a joint non-proliferation agenda, including
a notional work plan and schedule for START negotiations
. Minister Lavrov will come to Washington in early May to move forward on the agenda. North Korea
Engaged in Vigorous Diplomatic Efforts to Reinvigorate Six-Party Talks and in Response to Test Launch: In addition to Secretary Clinton traveling to the region to consult with allies, she appointed Ambassador Stephen Bosworth to be Special Representative for North Korea Policy. In early March, Ambassador Bosworth traveled to Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul to consult with senior officials
in those countries about the North Korea nuclear issue and how to move the Six-Party process forward. In response to North Korea’s recent test launch, Secretary Clinton conducted personal diplomacy with the foreign ministers of the Six-Party countries and coordinated with Ambassador Susan Rice to deliver a strong UN statement condemning North Korea’s launch and imposing new sanctions.Western Hemisphere
Along with the entire Obama Administration, the State Department is committed to creating a Western Hemisphere in which every nation, no matter their present level of wealth or their current political circumstances, is moving in the same direction, toward greater peace, prosperity, freedom, and opportunity. In addition to recent travel to Mexico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, Secretary Clinton also joined President Obama at the Summit of the Americas.Mexico
Emphasized Shared Responsibility and Comprehensive Engagement: Secretary Clinton recently visited Mexico City and Monterrey to underscore that the relationship between Mexico and the United States must be even stronger in the future than it is today
and the United States is committed to a partnership built on comprehensive engagement, greater balance, shared responsibility, and joint attention to hemispheric and global issues.
Secretary Clinton pledged $80 million for Blackhawk Helicopters and sustained commitment toward $1.4 billion for the Merida Initiative.
Secretary Clinton also emphasized clean energy partnerships with Mexico
involving both the public and private sectors. During Secretary Clinton’s trip, she visited a cutting-edge biogas plant in Monterrey that procures electricity from methane extracted from garbage. Haiti
Pledged $57 million at Haiti Donor’s Conference: On April 14, Secretary Clinton attended and addressed the Haiti Donor’s Conference in Washington DC where she pledged $57 million in U.S aid to boost Haitian security, build roads, create jobs, fight drug trafficking, and improve food security.
Secretary Clinton also announced that through the U.S. government, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization will be established to which the Haitian Diaspora and the United States can contribute
. We will help coordinate other NGOs, particularly those that have been started by Haitian Americans who want to give back and are looking for the best way to do so. Secretary Clinton also recently traveled to Haiti and the Dominican Republic prior to meeting President Obama during the Summit of the Americas.Climate Change
Named Todd Stern to be the Special Envoy for Climate Change: During her first weeks in office, Secretary Clinton appointed Todd Stern to be the Special Envoy for Climate Change.
Clean Energy Partnership with China: Soon after his appointment, Special Envoy Stern joined Secretary Clinton on her inaugural trip to Asia
where the Secretary announced her plans to establish a clean energy partnership
with China focused on developing and deploying clean energy technologies designed to speed our transformation to low-carbon economies.
Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting: On April 6, Secretary Clinton hosted the first-ever joint session of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the Arctic Council where she highlighted, among other things, the critical role of science in understanding the impacts of climate change at the poles.
Deputy Secretary Steinberg will also be attending the Arctic Council ministerial and “Melting Ice” meeting in Tromso, Norway on April 28-29.
Greening Diplomacy Initiative: On Earth Day, April 22, the Secretary launched a “Greening Diplomacy Initiative,” demonstrating the State Department’s commitment to lead by example in improving the sustainability of our facilities and operations both domestically and abroa
Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate: The climate change dialogue is continuing with the first preparatory session for the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate at the State Department on April 27-28. The Major Economies Forum will convene 17 economies, representing some 80% of the world's economic output and greenhouse gas emissions, to accelerate progress toward a successful outcome in Copenhagen and facilitate the exploration of concrete initiatives and joint ventures that can put us on the pathway to a low-carbon economy. The April session will be followed by two more preparatory sessions, culminating in a Leaders Meeting in Italy in July.Public Diplomacy
Placed New Emphasis on People-to-People Diplomacy: While Secretary Clinton and the entire State Department are engaged in vigorous government-to-government diplomacy, Secretary Clinton has also invested unprecedented amounts of time and energy into engaging in people-to-people diplomacy in countries with whom we seek partnerships.
Hosted Town Halls, Webcasts, Roundtables, and More:
On the first day of Secretary Clinton’s first trip, she hosted a town hall meeting with students at University of Tokyo
where she answered questions from a diverse group of students ranging from US-Tokyo relations and the financial crisis, to nuclear power and gender equality. The Tokyo Town Hall launched a series of town halls hosted by Secretary Clinton at a university in Seoul, South Korea, in Brussels with European Parliament interns, and in Mexico via webcast with students across 40 educational campuses
. Secretary Clinton has also hosted roundtable discussions with women leaders in Seoul and Beijing, students and teachers in Mexico and the West Bank,
and with women entrepreneurs in Israel
Leveraged Non-Traditional Media to Reach New Audiences: Through non-traditional media, Secretary Clinton is spreading the Administration’s broader diplomatic efforts by targeting audiences previously ignored. Secretary Clinton’s interview on the Turkish version of “The View”
reportedly caused positive ripples throughout the country. The Secretary’s appearance on the Indonesian pop culture television program, “Awesome,”
reached youth throughout the world’s most populous Muslim nation and beyond and her appearance on Telehit, the MTV of Mexico,
likely targeted audiences otherwise unaware of her goals visiting Mexico.Other Core Issues
Throughout recent trips and Secretary Clinton’s early work at the State Department, she has highlighted core issues topping the list of the Administration’s priorities. Wherever possible, these issues are emerging as a focal point that can be addressed cross-functionally through bi- and tri-lateral meetings, trips, and budgetary and personnel decisions.
Elevating Women’s Issues: In an unprecedented move, the Bureau of International Women’s Issues now reports directly to the Secretary through Melanne Verveer, recently confirmed as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues
. This office will consolidate State Department efforts on behalf of women, providing elevated importance, investment, and attention. Nowhere was this elevated importance on greater display than when First Lady Michelle Obama visited the State Department to honor the International Women of Courage
from around the world. Furthermore, Secretary Clinton has also deliberately reached out to women politicians, business professionals, civil society leaders, entrepreneurs, and educators while traveling around the world.
Investing in Civil Society: Secretary Clinton firmly believes that investing in civil society and providing tangible services to people in sectors like education and health care – fulfilling the needs of people that cannot be met by the government – will result in stronger nations that share the goals of security, prosperity, peace and progress.
For example, when Secretary Clinton visited a micro scholarship program in Ramallah, West Bank, she met with students participating in an English-language educational program and announced new funding for the Youth Education and Study program,
also known as YES, so more high school students can participate in American student exchange programs that will further the bonds between Palestinian and American young people.
Leading Development of Food Security Strategy: The State Department is leading the Administration’s development of a food security strategy to dramatically reduce global hunger and catalyze economic growth in poor countries through agriculture. Recently at the G20 Summit, the State Department worked closely with the NSC to announce an increase in funding for these efforts to more than $1 billion by 2010. In addition to establishing a food security task force, State Department officials are working with the USDA to prepare for the G8 Agriculture Ministers Meeting in Rome. Secretary Clinton is consulting with stakeholders inside and outside the government on developing this strategy, and the State Department is reaching out to ensure the strategy addresses the unique needs of partner countries. MISCELLANEOUSNew Media Efforts
Secretary Clinton believes the challenges we face require 21st
century tools. In addition to recently naming a new Senior Advisor on Innovation, the following is a sample of new media initiatives being used to amplify the efforts of the State Department:
Tracking Secretary’s Foreign Travel on Interactive Google Map:
The Bureau of Public Affairs created an interactive map to track Secretary Clinton’s current and past trips
. The Google map enables users to see where the Secretary is at any given time (marked with a State Department seal), calculates miles traveled (throughout the trip, and cumulatively as Secretary), displays photos from the road (posted on Flickr), and features the Secretary's remarks and blog posts. This program is also integrated with the State Department’s Facebook page. Direct link: http://www.state.gov/secretary/trvl/map/
Soliciting Questions from Real People Through “Text the Secretary” and Ask the Secretary:
These new programs invite people from around the world to send the Secretary questions via text message and the Department homepage
. These features are part of Secretary Clinton’s broad message of diplomacy-through-dialogue and a dialogue that is not just government-to-government. Anyone can use these programs, especially given that text messages are far more popular than email in many locations around the world (Inside U.S.: 90822
, Outside U.S.: 202-255-6299
). By the end of the Secretary’s trip to the Middle East and Europe, the Department had received thousands of text messages alone and an additional 1,600 messages sent via the website. Responses to the most frequently addressed topics can be found at: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/ask/secretary/120236.htm
Increased Frequency of Webcasts, Webchats: During her trip to Asia, the Secretary participated in a webchat interview moderated by China Daily
in Beijing where climate change questions were submitted online. According to the state-owned newspaper, the webchat garnered over 10.2 million page views, more than 50,000 comments, over 7,000 posted questions. While traveling through Europe, the Secretary’s webacast with EU interns reached over 31 countries. Most recently, the Secretary did a webcast townhall at TecMilenio in Monterrey, Mexico where 39 campuses from the country submitted questions. One of the questions she answered was submitted through the “Text the Secretary” program in an effort to combine new media efforts.
Focusing on Blogs to Broaden the State Department’s Audience:On the Secretary’s first two foreign trips, local bloggers were “embedded” with the traveling press corps, broadening the audience for the Secretary’s official meetings and public appearances.
Counteracting False Reporting on Twitter:
In March, web-site postings and the Madagascar rumor mill alleged that ousted President Ravalomanana had been granted refuge in the U.S. Embassy. Realizing that this might lead to mob action against U.S. personnel and facilities, savvy Public Affairs Officers used Twitter to “tweet” a rebuttal to the rumors, quickly defusing the situation. The Associated Press
covered this in ”U.S. Tweets Down Embassy Rumor.” Separately, the Bureau of Public Affairs recently corrected false stories reporting on the Secretary’s visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico given the prominence of erroneous reporting via twitter feeds and blogs (vs. mainstream media channels).
As a result of these innovations, daily views of the revamped Dipnote Blog have doubled from 10,000 in 2008 to 20,000 today with 700 subscribers to our RSS feed, twice as many as in March 2008. The number of followers of the Department on Twitter has tripled since January 20 when President Obama took office. The Department’s Facebook friends have also increased 250 percent in the same period. Furthermore, the StateVideo YouTube Channel, which features video produced by the Department, has 879 subscribers and 48,653 channels views to date.Construction Accomplishments
Major Outreach Efforts
- Awarded New Embassy Compound Contracts: The Department has recently awarded construction contracts for new Embassy Compounds in Belgrade, Serbia, Monrovia, Liberia and for Phase One of a new office compound in Taipei.
- Completed Embassy Compounds: The State Department has also completed or is nearing completion on New Embassy Compounds in Brazzaville, Congo; Koror, Palau; Kolonia, Micronesia; a New Consulate Compound in Johannesburg, South Africa and the renovation of a newly acquired building in Hyderabad, India, moving hundreds of USG employees into secure, safe, and modern facilities.
- Established New Embassy Sites Under Contract: A new Embassy site is under contract in London, England and a new embassy site has been contracted in Oslo, Norway.
- Sold Excess Buildings: An excess office building in Port-au Prince, Haiti was sold, as were excess residences in Stockholm, Sweden and Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Unique billing at NAACP Diversity Job Fair: The State Department drew front-page billing on the brochure for the 2009 NAACP Professional and Executive Diversity Job Fair
, which took place in Crystal City in early March. The brochure was disseminated to 1000-plus registered attendees, all 4-year college grads or beyond. In addition to the hundreds of participants who stopped by the State booth, more than 200 jobseekers attended the two State Careers Information Sessions that were offered at the Fair where the Department’s recruitment staff highlighted Foreign Service job opportunities.
Recruiters Target Student Veterans: The Department’s recruitment staff met with representatives of Student Veterans of America (SVA) to discuss outreach to recently transitioned military members
. SVA, founded in January of 2008, supports veterans on campuses throughout the United States as they look to graduate from college and establish life outside of the military. We expect to offer an information session on State careers for student veterans in the DC area in the next month and to partner with State’s Diplomats in Residence (senior Foreign Service Officers posted at universities) to organize a series of information sessions on campuses around the country.
140 Specially-selected Students Successfully Placed in State Department Internships: A record number of students from diverse backgrounds (140) now have placements in the Department
, both in Washington, DC and abroad. The Department instituted two new programs this year, one funded by the Cox Foundation, that increased the number of students recruited for internships. The Department will also be implementing a new networking site for interns this summer in keeping with our strategic goal of encouraging students to consider a future in the State Department
. The Department’s Diplomats in Residence identified, recruited, and nominated candidates from across the country--from UCLA to Georgetown
, from Boise State to Bowie State--to experience international affairs first-hand.
Participating in State Careers Panel Was Highlight for Thurgood Marshall College Fund Student Stars: The Department’s Recruitment staff hosted 80 students and staff from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Civic Responsibility Conference for a Careers Panel and TMCF-funded reception. The students were selected from 47 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) around the country. Human Resources’ Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Teddy Taylor welcomed the participants, and TCMF CEO Dwayne Ashley highlighted TMCF’s excellent relationship with Secretary Clinton and the Department. TMCF is a non-profit organization that prepares future leaders from 47 HBCUs and 6 Historically Black Law Schools.