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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action



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

Fast Facts

Thomas Jefferson of Virginia was the first Secretary of State; Edmund Jennings Randolph of Virginia was the second.

Prior to his tenure as Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Marshall of Virginia was the fourth Secretary of State. More»

Colin Powell, a Virginia resident, was the first African-American to serve as Secretary of State. 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 7,678 Virginia exporters in 2013, 86% were small- and medium-sized enterprises. In 2014, Virginia exports totaled $19.3 billion. Those exports supported 90,788 U.S. jobs. (EB) More»

    • The Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs awarded $200,000 to Arlington, Virginia-based NGO the Nature Conservancy to continue collaboration under the Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade (RAFT) program. The program works to improve the sustainability of tropical forests and the related timber trade in the Asia-Pacific region, and secure the supply chain of legal tropical timber worldwide, including timber to U.S. markets. (OES)

    • The U.S-China EcoPartnership between Reston-based Wilson Solarpower and Shenzhen Enesoon Science & Technology is developing a 20 MW concentrating solar power plant using innovative Brayton Air Cycle technology. More on EcoPartnerships. (EAP/OES)

    • The Department of State awarded a grant to the Arlington-based Conservation International to enhance and scale up stakeholder engagement in developing tropical forest countries that are participants in the global Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. (OES)

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

    • The Department of State's humanitarian program Operation Provide Hope delivered donated assistance in the form of medicine, medical supplies and equipment, and other relief items to vulnerable populations in the countries of the former Soviet Union through grants to Virginia-based Counterpart InternationalProject HOPE, and International Relief and Development. (EUR)

    • Virginia-based Aurora Flight Sciences Corp. was awarded a contract with the Swiss Department of Defense. (EUR) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) contributed more than $192 million to the Virginia economy through contracts and federal grants that directly supported INL missions. (INL) More»

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

    • George Mason University and the Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL) established the first International Sister Center partnership under the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA). As Sister Centers, George Mason and UANL will cooperate on soft landing programs for small businesses looking to establish a presence in the vicinity of Monterrey, Mexico or in Virginia. (WHA) More»

    • SAIC received $131,490 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 Virginia. (HR)

  • Education

    • 99 Scholars and Students from Virginia were awarded Fulbright Scholarships. (ECA) More»

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

    • Four high school students from Virginia 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 International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with the University of Virginia through the Department of State’s Diplomacy Lab research program. The University of Virginia provided research projects to INL on international forensics and aging prison populations. (INL) More»

    • Academic partnerships between the University of Virginia (general studies, geography) and the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, and between Virginia Polytechnic Institute (natural and agricultural sciences) and the University of Johannesburg and the University of the Free State 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»

    • 612 exchange visitors from overseas visited Virginia and 316 Virginia 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 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State 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 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kampur, India, received a $250,000 award from The Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative to develop an international program for sustainable infrastructure development. (SCA) More»

    • George Mason University received a $1 million grant to establish a university partnership in public administration in Pakistan for three years. (SCA) More»

    • 32 Brazilian students attended several educational institutions in Virginia 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»

  • Partnerships

    • The College of William and Mary, the University of Virginia, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) are participating schools 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)

    • The University of Virginia Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society is an ongoing partner in the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships P3 Impact Award, presented annually at the Concordia Summit in New York City. The P3 Impact Award recognizes public-private partnerships (P3s) that are improving communities and the world in the most impactful ways. The award seeks to highlight best practices and actionable insights in the P3 arena. Learn more about the P3 Impact Award here. (S/GP)

    • The Nature Conservancy (headquartered in Arlington) and the Dow Chemical Company (headquartered in Midland, MI) were recognized for their partnership to better recognize, value and incorporate nature into business decisions, strategies and goals. The partnership was one of five finalists for the 2nd annual P3 Impact Award. The P3 Impact Award was presented at the Concordia Summit in September 2014 by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Partnerships, the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Institute for Business in Society, and Concordia. The award recognizes public-private partnerships (P3s) that are improving communities and the world in the most impactful ways, seeking to highlight best practices and actionable insights in the P3 arena. More information on the P3 Impact Award can be found here and the five 2015 finalists here. (S/GP)

    • The U.S. Water Partnership hosts the H2Info online database in Arlington, Virginia. H2Info is a centralized, web-based platform for sharing knowledge and expertise on fresh water and sanitation. (OES)

    • An event was held in Arlington 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 Office of Global Food Security entered a public-private partnership with several major companies, including Mars, Inc., as part of the Feed the Future program. (S/GFS) More»

    • Virginia hosted 446 students from allied and friendly nations for International Military Education and Training. (PM) More»

    • Refugee Arrivals in 2015: 1,266. 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»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs continues to partner with the Richmond Police Department for police training and programs with foreign police partners. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, a non-profit Virginia organization, from 2010 to 2015 to facilitate exchanges on policing and training techniques for Iraqi and Kurdish police with U.S. police departments. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with the Prince William County Police Department to provide a study tour to police officials from Ghana to learn about law enforcement leadership development. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) awarded the National Center for State Courts, a non-profit Virginia-based organization, nearly $900,000 to offer strategic planning assistance to the Costa Rican judicial sector, particularly in the development of juvenile justice programs. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with Fairfax County Fire to host a study visit for five firefighters from Rio de Janeiro. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) conducted a Mexican Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (MEXLEEDS) at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Training Academy for 30 Mexican officials from January 25 to February 7, 2015. The course enhanced the skills and professionalism of Mexican Law Enforcement executives by providing instruction in cutting-edge leadership and investigative techniques. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigations to train and certify 21 Mexican officials from Anti-Kidnapping units on Anti-Kidnapping themes, and to provide 23 representatives from Mexico’s Attorney General’s offices instruction in cutting-edge leadership and investigative techniques. (INL) More»

    • The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) sponsored several Government of Mexico personnel to attend Armored Vehicle and Defensive Driver Instructor Trainings in Winchester, Virginia. (INL) More»

    • Foreign Policy Advisors (POLADs) work closely with Department of Defense (DOD) colleagues at the Pentagon located in Arlington. In this capacity, approximately 19 diplomats advise each of the U.S. military’s service chiefs and several senior leaders in the Office of the Secretary of Defense on foreign policy. (PM) More»

    • The Department of State facilitates the Virginia National Guard State Partnership Program with Tajikistan founded in 2003. (PM) More»

    • The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI), a nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, was founded to help restore hope, alleviate suffering, and nurture stability in war-torn countries. MLI’s major projects include the Mine Detection Dogs Partnership Program, Children Against Mines Program, and Survivors’ Assistance programs. MLI received funding from the Political-Military Affairs Bureau’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in FY 2014. (PM) More»

    • The Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) at James Madison University (JMU), in Harrisonburg, Virginia, provides innovative programs and reliable information to post-conflict communities and practitioners in the conventional weapons destruction field. CISR utilizes JMU faculty and staff and an international network of experts to produce publications, management-training workshops, disability-rights programming, and peer-support initiatives. CISR received funding from the Political-Military Affairs Bureau’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) in FY 2014. (PM) More»

    • The Washington Foreign Press Center hosted more than 100 journalists on tours to Dulles, Arlington, Fairfax, and Falls Church to learn about Dulles International Airporturban search and rescue, and World Refugee Day. (PA)

    • World Hope International in Virginia was awarded the following grants to combat human trafficking: More»

      • $500,000 to establish and institutionalize a national referral mechanism, provide short-term shelter and comprehensive services for victims of human trafficking, and develop a national anti-trafficking hotline in Liberia. (J/TIP)

      • $500,000 to provide comprehensive aftercare services to victims of human trafficking in Sierra Leone. (J/TIP)

  • Travel and Security

    • Total Passports Issued in Fiscal Year 2015: 372,663. (CA) More»

    • 184 Passport Application Acceptance Facilities. (CA) More»

    • Number of overseas adoptions for Virginia families in Fiscal Year 2014: 237. 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 Site: Monticello and the University of Virginia. (IO)

    • Diplomatic Security Washington, D.C. Field Office serves Virginia. 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 – Resident Office: Dunn Loring Investigative Field OfficeMore»


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