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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action



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

Fast Facts

Current Secretary of State John Kerry hails from Massachusetts. More»

The Rogers Act, which established the present-day Foreign Service, was sponsored by former U.S. Representative from Massachusetts John Jacob Rogers. More»

William Palfrey of Massachusetts was the first U.S. Consul. 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

    • In partnership with agencies across the federal government, the Department of State advances U.S. trade policy objectives by opening new export opportunities for American businesses and workers through trade initiatives. Of the 10,709 Massachusetts exporters in 2013, 89% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2014, Massachusetts exports totaled $27.4 billion. Those exports supported 124,016 U.S. jobs. (EB) More»

    • The University of Massachusetts, Boston University, and iRobot (headquartered in Bedford, MA) are founding partners in the Veterans Innovation Fellowship, a partnership between the Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, The Mission Continues, USAID, OPIC, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and several other universities. 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)

    • The Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs assisted with a deal worth approximately $185 million between Massachusetts-based InterSystems and the Chilean Government on an agreement extension for the company’s healthcare information system. (EB) More»

    • Massachusetts 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 $19 million to the economy of Massachusetts through contracts and federal grants that directly supported INL missions. (INL) More»

    • Noteflight LLC, a company founded by partners from Massachusetts and Colombia, was a semi-finalist 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/GP) More»

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

    • American Embassies worldwide purchased a total of $41,100 in multimedia materials from Massachusetts-based Topologe for use in American Spaces abroad. (IIP) More»

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

  • Education

    • Fulbright Scholarship Awards: 173 Scholars, Students and Teachers from Massachusetts (ECA) More»

    • Diplomat-in-Residence (Jon Danilowicz): 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»

    • A high school student from Massachusetts 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 Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs awarded a grant to Hadley-based VentureWell for Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) programs. GIST strengthens innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems through access to networking, skills development, and financing for youth in 135 emerging economies. (OES)

    • Five Colleges, Inc., a consortium of Massachusetts colleges, hosted a Foreign Language Teaching Assistant from Nairobi. The FLTA Program aims to strengthen foreign language instruction at U.S. educational institutions by establishing a native speaker presence in the classroom. (AF) More»

    • There are academic and research partnerships with South African Universities and Boston University (APARC); Brandeis University; Harvard University; Massachusetts College of Art; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Museum School of Fine Arts, Boston; University of Massachusetts. Partnerships with universities abroad help U.S. institutions strengthen their programs, promote opportunities for students and faculty and enhance their global presence. (AF) More»

    • 876 exchange visitors from overseas visited Massachusetts and 404 Massachusetts residents travelled overseas as part of the Department’s educational and cultural exchange funded programs. (ECA) More»

    • The Washington Foreign Press Center hosted 15 foreign journalists for a tour to Massachusetts about U.S. healthcare initiatives. (PA) More»

    • The Office of Global Food Security partnered with Tufts University 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»

    • The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs contributed $18,000 in grant funding to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to train engineers in technology commercialization. (OES) More»

    • Tufts University received a $250,000 grant from the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative to partner with India’s Christian Medical University on a project to build capacity for medical education in bioethics. (SCA) More»

    • 98 Brazilian students attended several educational institutions in Massachusetts 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. Amherst College, Boston Architectural College, Boston University, Fisher College, Lasell College, Regis College, Suffolk University participated in the Virtual College Fair. (IIP) More»

  • Partnerships

    • World Education, Inc. of Boston, founded in 1951 to meet the needs of the educationally disadvantaged, provides training and technical assistance across a wide array of sectors. World Education received funding from the Political-Military Affairs Bureau’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in FY 2014. (PM) More»

    • The Polus Center for Social and Economic Development (Polus) – a Petersham, Massachusetts-based non-profit nongovernmental organization – partners with foundations to address the impact of landmines and other explosive remnants of war on communities around the world. Using a holistic approach, Polus ensures that victims of conflict and people with disabilities are included in all aspects of program design and implementation. Polus received funding from the Political-Military Affairs Bureau’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in FY 2014. (PM) More»

    • The Department of State facilitates the Massachusetts National Guard’s State Partnership Program with Kenya, founded in 2015. (PM) More»

    • Refugee Arrivals in 2015: 1,666. 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»

    • Under the Department of State’s U.S. Speaker Program, Sam Vaghar, co-founder of the Millennium Campus Network (MCN), traveled to Morocco, Macedonia, and Bulgaria to engage audiences of young development leaders on social entrepreneurship. Through these programs, Mr. Vaghar has been able to expand the global reach of MCN. Moroccan youth leaders he met through these programs participated in the Millennium Campus Conference Florida, and at the United Nations in New York City in August 2015 to collaborate and amplify their generation's voice in global development. In Macedonia, Mr. Veghar met a deaf entrepreneur whom he nominated for the U.S.-based Echoing Green Fellowship for social entrepreneurs. He also collaborated and built relations with alumni of a Massachusetts Summer work travel program, several of whom visited Boston. (IIP) More»

    • The New England Aquarium in Boston 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)

    • Two events were held in Boston 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)

    • The Department of State facilitates the Massachusetts National Guard State Partnership Program with Paraguay founded in 2001. (PM) More»

    • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has partnered with Russian Skolkovo, a new technology hub in Russia, to create Skoltech, a graduate-level technical university focused on cutting edge research and innovation in entrepreneurship. EUR) More»

    • $150,000 was granted to Veritè in Massachusetts, an organization that works to improve the understanding of the threat of trafficking posed by unscrupulous labor brokers and to enhance the ability of labor brokers to prevent trafficking and take corrective action against it. (J/TIP) More»

    • Boston Police Department and Charles County Sheriff’s Office hosted police officers from Tajikistan for a study tour to learn how the United States approaches community policing (including domestic violence intervention), gender equality in law enforcement hiring, and countering radicalization and violence extremism at both the local and federal levels. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with the Boston Police Department to host Guatemalan police officers on a study tour to learn about police statistical analysis in the United States. (INL) More»

    • Since 2011, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) has provided over 2.6 million dollars to fund the Boston-based organization, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), to help strengthen the capacity of law enforcement, legal, and medical professionals to investigate cases of sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. INL also provides funding to PHR to develop a standardized medical report for African medical professionals to submit in order to document instances of sexual and gender-based violence. (INL) More»

    • $1,400,000 was awarded to Veritè in Massachusetts to identify areas at greatest risk of trafficking in global supply chains, develop a tool for businesses to analyze the potential risk of trafficking in their supply chains, and provide next steps for compliance plans that align with the principles of Executive Order 13627, “Strengthening Protections Against Trafficking in Persons in Federal Contracts.” Veritè is also engaging with key business entities in the fishing industry to adapt guidance consistent with the Executive Order for fishing sector companies. (J/TIP) More»

  • Travel and Security

    • Total Passports Issued in Fiscal Year 2015: 399,177. (CA) More»

    • The Boston Passport Agency comprises 30 government employees and 14 contract employees. (CA) More»

    • Passport Application Acceptance Facilities: 248. (CA) More»

    • Number of overseas adoptions for Massachusetts families in Fiscal Year 2014: 112. 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 Boston 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 U.S. Department of State published a pamphlet, “Boston, Massachusetts: America’s City of Firsts” to encourage trade and tourism by sharing its history, culture, and climate with 2,947 Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish language speakers. (IIP) More»


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