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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action



Date: 11/05/2013 Description: Illinois state seal © Public Domain
Date: 11/05/2013 Description: Illinois state flag © Public Domain

Fast Fact

Former Secretary of State Elihu Benjamin Washburne of Illinois has the distinction of serving the shortest amount of time on the job – 11 days. More»

For about a 1% investment of the Federal budget, the State Department yields a large return for the American people by advancing U.S. national security, promoting our economic interests, providing services, and reaffirming our country’s exceptional role in the world. Read on to learn how the work of the Department benefits this state’s residents.


  • Jobs and Diplomacy

    • The Department of State, in partnership with other federal agencies, advances U.S. trade policy objectives by opening new markets for American businesses and workers. Of the 22,770 Illinois exporters in 2013, 90% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2014, Illinois exports totaled $68.2 billion. Those exports supported 345,050 U.S. jobs. (EB) More»

    • The Department of State granted $95,000 to Argonne National Laboratory in support of research developing technologies that advance arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament through the Verification Fund. (AVC) More»

    • The Chicago Convention established the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1944 – the first UN specialized agency. (IO)

    • The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs assisted with a deal worth approximately $11.4 billion between Boeing and flydubai for the largest ever purchase of Boeing aircraft for the Middle East. (EB) More»

    • The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs assisted with a deal worth approximately $693 million for Kuwait to purchase Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. (EB) More»

    • Illinois hosted foreign physicians, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs and others as part of work and study-based international exchange visitor programs. (ECA) More»

    • The U.S. Mission to Poland is pleased to support “Do IT with Poland,” a new initiative to promote ties between Polish technology startups and American businesses and participate in the Chicago TechWeek. (EUR) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) contributed more than $3.5 million to the economy of Illinois through contracts and federal grants that directly supported INL missions. (INL) More»

    • Luxe Bloom, a company founded by partners from Illinois and Ecuador, was among sixteen finalists in the La Idea Business Competition. La Idea is a component of the Small Business Network of the Americas that connects Latin America diaspora in the U.S. with entrepreneurs throughout Latin America to help them cultivate and grow their businesses. (WHA) More»

    • 12 partnership plans were created under the Small Business Network of the Americas International Sister Center Program with Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Panama. (WHA) More»

    • Argonne National Laboratory received $1,974,750 to provide six International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) cost-free expert positions to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy (agriculture, sustainable nuclear power, and environment). (ISN) More»

    • Argonne National Laboratory and New Brunswick Laboratory received a total of $217,443 from the U.S. Department of State through the U.S. Program of Technical Assistance to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards, which funds the U.S. Support Program and provides budgetary assistance for research and development projects on technical safeguards. (ISN) More»

    • Click here for more information about Department career recruitment events in Illinois. (HR)

  • Education

    • Fulbright Scholarship Awards: 150 Scholars, Students and Teachers from Illinois (ECA) More»

    • Diplomat-in-Residence (Robert Neus): Diplomats in Residence (DIRs) are career Foreign Service Officers located throughout the U.S. who provide guidance and advice to students, professionals and the community about Department careers. (HR) More»

    • Medical Education Partnership Initiative: Northwestern University and Harvard School of Public Health Medical Education Partnership in Nigeria. (S/GAC) More»

    • The Department provided grant funding to Illinois Community Colleges to host Community College Initiative (CCI) Program participants from Nairobi. The program helps raise the profile of U.S. community colleges as prime motivators and initiators of higher education globally. (AF) More»

    • Olympic gold medalist figure skater and Illinois native, Evan Lysacek, traveled to Belarus as a Sports Envoy. In cooperation with the U.S. Figure Skating Association and the Skating Union of Belarus, Lysacek led many activities including ice skating clinics with youth, speeches with students on the importance of sports in society, and outreach skating events for underserved young people. He also visited Sports Rehabilitation Center in Belarus, which promotes sports for people with disabilities. (EUR) More»

    • Academic partnership between the Chicago Graduate School of Business and the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. Partnerships with universities abroad help U.S. institutions strengthen their programs, promote opportunities for students and faculty and enhance their global presence. (AF) More»

    • 735 exchange visitors from overseas visited Illinois and 455 Illinois residents travelled overseas as part of the Department’s educational and cultural exchange funded programs. (ECA) More»

    • 348 Brazilian students attended several educational institutions in Illinois through the Brazil Scientific Mobility Program. This program is funded by the Brazilian government and the private sector and sends 101,000 Brazilian university students of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to study and conduct research abroad. The U.S. is a priority destination for scholarship recipients, and strengthens U.S. and Brazilian institutional partnerships, develops a workforce prepared for 21st century opportunities, and contributes to long-term economic growth for both countries. (WHA) More»

    • The Department of State partnered with Argonne National Laboratory and provided $664,098 for the Laboratory to host 13 courses on International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) matters and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy (agriculture, sustainable nuclear power, and environment). Since 1976, the Laboratory has organized 145 joint U.S./IAEA training courses for 3,700 people from approximately 124 countries. (ISN) More»

    • The Department of State hosted an International Virtual College Fair in 2013 to celebrate International Education Week and the $29 billion international student industry in the United States. The event featured colleges and universities from across the United States and had more than 22,000 potential students from 206 countries in attendance who completed nearly 55,000 visits to the virtual university booths. Columbia College Chicago, College of DuPage, DePaul University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and University of Illinois-Springfield participated in the International Virtual College Fair. (IIP) More»

    • The University of Illinois - College of Nursing received a $250,000 grant from the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative to partner with Bel-Air College of Nursing, India on innovative nursing education. (SCA) More»

    • The Chicago State University received a $250,000 grant from the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative to partner with Jawaharlal Technical University to promote university-industrial cooperation in computer science. (SCA) More»

    • The University of Chicago - Oriental Institute received a $1,000,000 grant to partner with the National Museum of Afghanistan to modify and expand activities, which include the creation of a digital bilingual museum inventory, conservation of the most fragile objects and a management plan. (SCA) More»

  • Partnerships

    • An event was held in Chicago during the annual Global Diaspora Week celebration, organized by the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships. GDW is a week-long celebration of diaspora communities and their contributions to global development. The week of events is organized through the International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA) partnership and fueled by diaspora organizations all over the world that are shining a spotlight on diaspora communities, their achievements, and the issues that are important to them. GDW 2015 boasted over 90 events worldwide; learn more here. (S/GP)

    • An event was held in Chicago during the annual Global Partnerships Week celebration in March, organized by the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships. GPW recognizes the critical role public-private partnerships play in promoting diplomacy and development worldwide and inspires public and private organizations everywhere through self-organized local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as shared value collaborators. GPW 2015 boasted over 20 events worldwide; learn more here. (S/GP)

    • The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs partnered with the Illinois Institute of Technology as part of the Pathways to Cleaner Production in the Americas Initiative. (OES)

    • Illinois hosted one student from an allied and friendly nation for International Military Education and Training. (PM) More»

    • The Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of the Foreign Policy Advisor program has four Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) positions assigned to U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) and its component commands based out of Scott Air Force Base. POLADs are U.S. diplomats that serve typically two year tours at U.S. military commands and provide foreign policy advice to senior military leadership. (PM) More»

    • Refugee Arrivals in 2015: 2,439. The Department works with nine domestic nongovernmental organizations, which place refugees in over 300 affiliated offices in roughly 180 communities around the country. These local offices work closely with community partners, congregations, volunteers, and state and local officials to provide a successful start for refugees rebuilding their lives. Refugee communities have historically enhanced the economic dynamism and cultural vitality of our nation. Refugees contribute to the United States in numerous ways, including by starting businesses and joining the U.S. military. (PRM) More»

    • Department of State facilitates the Illinois National Guard State Partnership Program with Poland founded in 1993. (PM) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the Chicago Police Department partnered to host study tours for officials from El Salvador, Lebanon and Tunisia. Chicago Police Department also deployed officers on four technical assistance and training visits to El Salvador, Thailand, and Vietnam. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with the Loyola University – Chicago, School of Law’s PROLAW program to work with the African Union (AU) to build its capabilities to promote rule of law and justice on the African continent. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, Illinois, to host a study visit for five Macedonian criminal law professors.  The visit focused on showing them modern clinical education programs, trial advocacy courses, and typical legal reasoning and writing courses. Such courses will be instrumental in helping Macedonian law students understand the new criminal procedure code and develop practical legal skills. The law professors also visited both state and federal courts to better understand how the adversarial system works in practice. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) sponsored a delegation of 12 Mexican Police Academy Administrators to conduct a study visit to Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, to observe best practices and models for management of Police Academies including: recruiting, selection, and training methodologies. (INL) More»
    • The Middle East Partnership Initiative provided more than $237,000 to bring undergraduate students from the Middle East and North Africa to Benedictine University for the Student Leaders Program, which aims to develop leadership skills and expand understanding of U.S. civil society and democratic processes that students can apply in their home countries. (NEA/MEPIMore»

    • The Office of Global Food Security entered a public-private partnership with several major companies, including Kraft Foods, as part of the Feed the Future program. (S/GFS) More»

    • $750,000 dollars was invested into Illinois’ Heartland Alliance to provide protection services to trafficking victims in the form of emergency shelter, medical services, trauma counseling, legal assistance, economic reintegration, and safe repatriation in conjunction with local partners in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi. (J/TIP) More»

    • The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) partnered with the Illinois Institute of Technology as part of the Pathways to Cleaner Production in the Americas Initiative. (OES) More»

    • Under the Department of State’s U.S. Speaker Program, Stephen Franklin, former Chicago Tribune journalist, travelled to Pakistan and Nepal to lead a series of investigative journalism training workshops on concepts of investigative reporting techniques for journalists from major media outlets, government officials, and journalism students. Mr. Franklin is working with one of the participants from Nepal to establish a website in English and Nepali that will provide a venue for U.S. and Nepali journalists to discuss media issues in Nepal. (IIP)  More»

    • Argonne National Laboratory received $270,874 to process over 1,390 international experts for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meetings on nuclear energy safety, security, nonproliferation, and peaceful applications. (ISN) More»

    • The Department of State includes a Statement of Work in the Argonne National Laboratory/Department of Energy Annual Interagency Agreement wherein the U.S. Department of State provides $1,115,179 for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Peaceful Use Operations (PUO) to organize training, review programs, analyze reporting, place IAEA fellows in U.S. Institutions and Industry, and recruit talent. (ISN) More»

    • The Department of State partnered with Argonne National Laboratory and provided $414,179 to the peaceful uses of nuclear technology (agriculture, sustainable nuclear power, and environment) through the training of 140 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) science and engineering fellows from 40 developing countries. Since 2003, more than 340 fellows have been trained through this program, which is hosted by Argonne National Laboratory, and have been entrusted with responsibilities important to the development of their home countries. (ISN) More»

    • Heartland Alliance International in Illinois was awarded the following grants to combat human trafficking: More»

      • $500,000 was awarded to enhance victim protection efforts and raise awareness of human trafficking among vulnerable communities and key stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (J/TIP)

      • $650,000 was awarded to strengthen government and civil society capacity to combat human trafficking in Iraq. (J/TIP)

  • Travel and Security

    • Total Passports Issued in Fiscal Year 2015: 588,689. (CA) More»

    • The Chicago Passport Agency comprises 53 government employees and 28 contract employees. (CA) More»

    • Passport Application Acceptance Facilities: 377. (CA) More»

    • UNESCO World Heritage Site: Cahokia Mounds State Historical Site, the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico, in Collinsville, Illinois. (IO)

    • Number of overseas adoptions for Illinois families in Fiscal Year 2014: 269. The Office of Children's Issues plays an active role in the intercountry adoption process. Its work is dedicated to assisting parents as they seek to provide a home to orphans abroad. (CA) More»

    • Diplomatic Security Chicago Field Office: Diplomatic Security has offices throughout the United States staffed with special agents and contract investigators, who conduct criminal, counterterrorism and background investigations. Agents assigned to field and resident offices assist in providing support to the protection of the Secretary of State, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and visiting foreign dignitaries. Liaison with federal and local law enforcement, foreign mission personnel, local officials, and the private sector complements their major responsibilities. (DS) More»

    • The Department of State published a pamphlet, “Chicago, Illinois: Metropolis on the Great Lakes” to encourage trade and tourism by sharing its history, culture, and climate with 2,054 Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish language speakers. (IIP) More»


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