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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action



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

Fast Fact

California is ranked #1 in the U.S. for the number of international students in its colleges and universities. 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.



    • In partnership with agencies across the federal government, the Department of State advances U.S. trade policy objectives by opening new export and job opportunities for American businesses and workers through trade initiatives. In California, approximately 775,000 U.S. jobs were supported by goods exports (2014) and foreign direct investment supported about 632,000 U.S. jobs (2013). This resulted in $165.4 billion in goods exports from California (2015). (EB) More»

    • California businesses Plantronics and Taylor Guitars were presented with the Secretary of State’s 2013 Award for Corporate Excellence, an annual award that recognizes U.S.-owned businesses that play vital roles worldwide as good corporate citizens in supporting sustainable development, respect for human and labor rights, environmental protection, open markets, transparency and other democratic values. Read more about ACE here. (EB) More»

    • The Department of State assisted Rapiscan Systems (Rapiscan; Torrance, CA) in finalizing a contract for an Egyptian Customs Authority tender to provide x-ray scanners to be used at major ports and airports for incoming freight, a deal valued at over $65,000,000. (EB) More»

    • The Department of State granted $415,000 in research funds to the California campus of Sandia National Laboratories and to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey in support of research developing new technologies that advance arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament through the Verification Fund. (AVC) More»

    • One of the 2015-2016 Veterans Innovation Partnership (VIP) fellows is from California. The partnership offers U.S. citizen veterans of the American armed forces a one-year paid fellowship to gain experience by working in a U.S. government international affairs agency. More information on the partnership is available here. (S/GP)

    • Flights between Los Angeles, California and Shanghai, China with an estimated impact of $647 million were made possible by an Open Skies agreement negotiated by the Bureaus of Economic and Business Affairs and East Asian and Pacific Affairs. (EB/EAP) 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)

    • Consul General of the U.S. Consulate Shanghai joined the Agriculture Trade Office to welcome the first shipment of U.S. pears (valued at over $100,000) to China, representing new market opportunities for pear producers in California, Oregon and Washington. (EB/EAP) More»

    • The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs assisted with a deal worth approximately $12.5 million for TCI International to supply Macedonia’s Agency for Electronic Communications with a national spectrum monitoring system. (EB) More»

    • The Department supports the SelectUSA initiative, which facilitated Pacific Proton Therapy Regional Center’s $193 million investment in California adding 3,900 new jobs. SelectUSA is a President Obama initiative that promotes and facilitates investment in the United States as an engine for job growth and economic development. (EB) More»

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

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) contributed more than $49 million to California’s economy through contracts and federal grants that directly supported INL missions. (INL) More»

    • The Special Representative for Global Intergovernmental Affairs supported Chinese Vice President Xi visit to California leading to the establishment of the California-China Trade and Investment Office. (EAP/S/SRGIA) More»

    • Six partnership plans were created in California under the Small Business Network of the Americas International Sister Center Program with Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Panama. (WHA) More»

    • Kahai SAS, a company founded by partners from California and Colombia, received the best established business award in the La Idea Business Competition. Mi Aguila and Two to Tango, companies also founded by partners from California and Colombia, were among sixteen finalists. 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»

    • California-based Asia Foundation received a $594,000 grant to launch and implement a South Asia Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative featuring a web platform, study tours, and national government-business policy workshops. (SCA) More»

    • The U.S. Department of State invested $17,320 each in career events in Sacramento, California and San Diego, California, to recruit Americans for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) jobs. (ISN) More»

    • U.S. Department of State partnered with Sandia National Laboratories to implement the Global Threat Reduction Program. Through the use of nonproliferation, anti-terrorism, de-mining and related programs account funds the Department provided $13,296,800 to the Laboratories to support the reduction of terrorist threat and weapons of mass destruction. (ISN) More»

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

  • Education

    • Fulbright Scholarship Awards: 341 Scholars, Students and Teachers in California (ECA) More»

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

    • Seven high school students from California participated in the first-ever WiSci Girls STEAM Camp in Gashora, Rwanda, which brought 30 American and 90 African girls together for a three-week curriculum in computer science, robotics, leadership, and social enterprise during summer 2015. Part of the Let Girls Learn Initiative, the goal of WiSci is to empower young women with the knowledge and skillsets to be competitive with their male counterparts during a time of rapid technological development, providing them with access to high-tech resources, like-minded peers, impactful business connections, and inspiring mentors. Learn more about WiSci here. (S/GP)

    • The University of California, Los Angeles, and Arizona State University have participated in every high-level Science & Technology Joint Committee Meetings (JCM) with Vietnam since 2011. These meetings, facilitated by the Department of State, raise the profile of the universities’ collaboration with S&T communities in both countries, leading to research and education partnerships. (OES)

    • There are academic partnerships with South African Universities and the California Institute of Technology (Geology), University of California Los Angeles (Chemical Technology) and University of California San Diego (Physics). Partnerships with universities abroad help U.S. institutions strengthen their programs, promote opportunities for students and faculty and enhance their global presence. (AF) More»

    • 1,413 exchange visitors from overseas visited California and 3,864 California residents travelled overseas as part of the Department’s educational and cultural exchange funded programs. (ECA) More»

    • The Office of Global Food Security has partnered with the University of California at Davis and University of California at Riverside as part of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab program, which offers U.S. universities and research institutions the opportunity to tackle global agriculture and food security challenges. (S/GFS) More»

    • Two $1 million grants were awarded to San Jose State University to establish university partnerships in Afghanistan for journalism for three years; two $1 million grants were awarded to San Jose State University to establish university partnerships in Pakistan for distance education and linguistics/English education for three years. (SCA) More»

    • 482 Brazilian students attended several educational institutions in California 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 the program 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 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. Alliant International University, California State University-Los Angeles, Mills College, Platt College San Diego, University of California-Berkeley; University of California-Davis, University of California-Davis Graduate Studies, University of California-Irvine, University of California-Los Angeles, University of California-Merced, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of California-Santa Cruz, Westmont College, Columbia College Hollywood participated in this Virtual College Fair. (IIP) More»

    • The University of California, Berkeley received a $250,000 grant from the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative to partner with the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay on a sustainable water infrastructure project. (SCA) More»

    • California-based Asia Foundation received a $1,500,000 grant to continue the Traditional Leader Development Program, to expose Afghan traditional leaders, including women and young leaders, to more moderate Muslim societies in the region. (SCA) More»

    • Equal Access International in San Francisco received a $597,119 grant for the Afghanistan-Pakistan Journalist Exchange Program which aims to promote and institutionalize professional exchanges between influential independent media from Pakistan and Afghanistan. (SCA) More»

    • California-based Internews received a $400,000 grant to support the Journalism Safety Program in Pakistan to increase journalists’ reporting capacity and their ability to minimize risks of physical and digital attacks. (SCA) More»

    • The Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) supports foreign institutions in Sub-Saharan African countries that receive support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDs Relief. More»

      • The University of Colorado-Denver, Howard University and Stanford University have a partnership to establish the Novel Education Clinical Trainees and Researchers (NECTAR) program at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences. (S/GAC)

      • The University of Colorado-Denver and Stanford University have a partnership with the University of Zimbabwe for a cerebrovascular, heart failure, rheumatic heart disease interventions (CHRIS) program (S/GAC)

      • UC San Diego and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane have a partnership to increase the number of highly skilled medical school faculty in Mozambique (S/GAC)

      • UC San Diego and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane have a surgery partnership in Mozambique (S/GAC)

      • UC San Diego, Emory University, Johns Hopkins University and University of Wisconsin assist Ethiopia in improving medical education and retention. (S/GAC)

  • Partnerships

    • California hosted 256 students from allied and friendly nations for International Military Education and Training (PM) More»

    • Roots of Peace, a nonprofit organization - headquartered in San Rafael, California - dedicated to restoring economic livelihood opportunities in post-conflict regions, received funding from the Political-Military Affairs Bureau’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in FY 2014. Roots of Peace has helped remove over one million landmines and items of unexploded ordnance worldwide, and planted more than five million trees to give farmers access to land that was previously deemed too dangerous to develop. (PM) More»

    • Under the U.S. Department of State’s U.S. Speaker Program, Renewables100 Policy Institute founding chair and California Independent Systems Operator board member Angelina Galiteva engaged with government representatives, economists, and industry association audiences in Brazil. One of Ms. Galiteva’s presentations led directly to an agreement by the government of the Brazilian state of Pernambuco to collaborate with the California Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA) on its Under2MOU agreement, which involves 58 jurisdictions from 19 countries and five continents. At CEPA’s invitation, Brazil’s State Secretary of Environment Sergio Xavier signed the MOU as Pernambuco’s representative at the COP21 meetings in Paris. In addition to fostering ongoing subnational collaboration to counter climate change, this state-to-state communication could ultimately lead to lasting commercial ties in the renewable energy industry. (IIP) More»

    • The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach was one of twelve hosts for the 2nd annual Fishackathon, which took place in June 2015. Fishackathon is a public-private partnership launched by the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships (S/GP) to use technology to create innovative solutions for the sustainable management of fisheries and the protection of our oceans. The annual Fishackathon event calls on coders from all around the world to come together for a weekend of work to create new applications, tools, and prototypes that will be deployed on multiple platforms to help fishers work smarter and more safely in sustainable fishing. Learn more about Fishackathon here. (S/GP)

    • Under the U.S. Department of State’s U.S. Speaker Program, University of Southern California (USC) professor and multiple Emmy-award winning investigative journalist Vince Gonzales engaged journalists in Kyiv on the use of digital media; and conducted several training sessions for students, journalists and professors, including the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ new digital diplomacy team. His recommendations resulted in the creation and extensive use of a #newMFA hashtag in Ukraine. Mr. Gonzales has since communicated with several Ukrainian students interested in attending the USC digital journalism program, and provided enrollment information to students at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Additionally, USC’s Journalism School, via the Center for Public Diplomacy, will admit Ukrainian journalists on fellowships starting in the summer of 2016. (IIP) More»

    • Golden West Humanitarian Foundation (GWHF), headquartered in Woodland Hills, California, is dedicated to the development of innovative, appropriate technologies to overcome the operational limitations encountered by the humanitarian mine action community. GWHF received funding from the Political-Military Affairs Bureau’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in FY 2014. GWHF conducts surveys and assessments, and develops mine risk education materials, as well as landmine and unexploded ordnance disposal technologies. (PM) More»

    • The Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Office of the Foreign Policy Advisor program has one Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) position assigned to U.S. Naval Special Warfare (NAVSPECWARCOM) based out of Coronado. 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»

    • The University of California San Diego (UCSD) is a participating school in the Diplomacy Lab partnership led by the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships. Diplomacy Lab is a public-private partnership that enables the State Department to "course-source" research and innovation related to foreign policy challenges by harnessing the efforts of students and faculty experts at universities across the country. Learn more about Diplomacy Lab here. (S/GP)

    • Refugee Arrivals in 2015: 5,611. 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»

    • Four events were held in California 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)

    • Two events were held in California 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)

    • Google, headquartered in Mountain View, co-hosted the Secretary’s Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum with the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships and Georgetown University in October 2015. Learn more about the Forum, which was part of the State Department’s activities leading up to the COP21 climate talks in Paris, here. (S/GP)

    • The Department of State facilitates the California National Guard State Partnership Program with Ukraine founded in 1993 and Nigeria founded in 2006. (PM)

    • The U.S.-China EcoPartnerships project between UCLA and Peking University promotes clean, efficient, and secure energy. Learn more about EcoPartnerships here . (EAP/OES)

    • Museums Connect Cultural Exchange partnership is designed to strengthen connections between people in the United States and abroad through museum-based exchanges.  More»

      • There is a partnership between SOMArts Cultural Center in San Francisco, CA and the Islamic Art Museum of Malaysia – Citizenship Unbound: Flag Stories. (ECA/EAP)

      • There is a partnership with the Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum in King City and the Egyptian Agricultural Museum – Common Ground: Connecting Communities through Gardens. (ECA)

      • There is a partnership between the Zoological Society of San Diego, working with Three Mountain Alliance in Lihu’e, HI, and the Sican National Museum (Peru) – Forest Guardians. (ECA)

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

    • $450,000 dollars was invested in Fair Trade Fund, Inc. in California to advance the capabilities of Slavery Footprint, an online tool and mobile application that measures an individual’s slavery “footprint”, with a focus on expanding its social media strategy and bettering incentives for consumers to reduce their footprints. (J/TIP) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with the Port of San Diego and the Port of Long Beach to conduct two study tours for Pakistani port officials on seaport infrastructure and border/coastal security. Each study tour was a week long. (INL) More»

    • The San Francisco Public Defender’s Office deployed a legal advisor to provide training to Panamanian public defenders on trial tactics, such as how to conduct witness testimony and plea bargaining techniques in Panama City and Chiriqui, Panama. This was the first deployment of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. (INL) More»

    • Six California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers from Sacramento, California provided basic tactical patrol skills training to the newly established police patrol unit in Kiev, Ukraine. CHP deployed a second time later in the year to provide this training again for new patrol police recruits in Kiev. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs awarded Stanford University School of Law approximately $8.5 million to transition the Legal Education Certificate program at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul to a fully-fledged Bachelor of Arts and Laws degree program and continue publishing Afghan legal textbooks. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) engaged with Central American civil society and law enforcement in the development of a place-based strategy that drew lessons from a highly successful model from Los Angeles. This approach, targeted to high-risk individuals in high-crime locations, combined violence prevention programs with law enforcement interventions to combat concentrated levels of violent crime which serve as a driver of migration to the United States. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with the Los Angeles Community Law Enforcement and Recovery Center and the Drug Enforcement Administration to sponsor a study visit of seven Government of Mexico police officers to examine criminal investigation practices and techniques. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) sponsored a study visit for 12 Mexican Police Academy Administrators to observe best practices and models for management of Police Academies. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) conducted a Post Blast Investigation course hybrid in San Diego, California for 39 Mexican officials. The course provided instruction in cutting-edge Post Blast Bomb and Arson investigative techniques. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with the Institute of the Americas in San Diego, California to sponsor four representatives from Mexican civil society organizations to participate in courses to learn how gangs recruit and hold teenagers, as well as discuss successful approaches in education, community action, and government support to keep adolescents from being lured into the world of organized crime. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) sponsored three Mexican Law Enforcement Officers to attend a Gangs, Youth and Demand Reduction Workshop in San Diego, California. The workshop focused on the correlations among the use of controlled substances, youth violence, and gang activity. Participants also studied programs designed to reduce the demand of substances and detect the strategies used by gangs to recruit adolescents. (INL) More»

    • $500,000 was awarded to Relief International in California to enhance the capacity of local organizations to identify and assist male trafficking victims in Bangladesh and raise public awareness of the country’s 2012 anti-trafficking legislation. (J/TIP) More»

    • $500,000 was awarded to Zoe International in California to implement a project in Thailand to enhance protections for child trafficking victims and children at risk of being trafficked. (J/TIP) More»

  • Travel and Security

    • Total Passports Issued in Fiscal Year 2015: 2,067,980 (CA) More»

    • Passport Application Acceptance Facilities: 735. (CA) More»

    • The Los Angeles Passport Agency, the San Francisco Passport Agency, and the San Diego Passport Agency employ 109 government and 67 contract staff. (CA)

    • Number of overseas adoptions for California families in Fiscal Year 2014: 402.  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»

    • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Redwood National and State ParksYosemite National Park. (IO)

    • Diplomatic Security Los Angeles Field Office and San Francisco 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. Additionally, they liaison with federal and local law enforcement, foreign mission personnel, local officials, and the private sector complements their major responsibilities. (DS – Resident Offices: San Diego and West Los Angeles Investigative Field Offices) More»

    • U.S. Department of State published a pamphlet, “Yuba City, California: American Punjabi Sikhs” to encourage trade and tourism by sharing the history and culture of the local American Punjabi Sikhs with 661 English and Russian language speakers. (IIP) More»


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