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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

The Department of State's Role in Supporting the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development


Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
September 28, 2010

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The Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development calls for the elevation of development as a core pillar of American power and charts a course for development, diplomacy and defense to reinforce and complement one another in an integrated, comprehensive approach to national security.

The Department of State plays a central role in achieving the goals of the PPD. The Secretary of State has responsibility for ensuring that diplomacy and development are effectively coordinated and mutually reinforcing in the operation of our foreign policy. In support of the PPD and the National Security Strategy, Secretary Clinton is overseeing the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which will propose steps to strengthen our diplomatic and development capabilities to better meet our foreign policy goals. The QDDR will provide the blueprint for our diplomatic and development efforts by aligning policy, strategy, authorities, and resources.

Many of the activities of the Department of State are central to advancing the development objectives of the PPD, including:

  • Promoting responsible country leadership and enabling environments for development: Our diplomats have broad and deep relationships with presidents and prime ministers, civil society activists and local citizens. They are uniquely placed to build stronger partnerships in support of development outcomes. Bilaterally, they are central to promoting policy reform and innovations; multilaterally, they mobilize contributions and coordinate efforts both regionally and globally to promote international policy agreements and standards that provide the basis for sound political and economic governance. The Department of State works to advance U.S. Government global development by, for example:

o Championing human rights and democratic governance around the world;

o Establishing global standards and norms that address key barriers to development such as corruption, transparency, and poor policy and regulatory regimes;

o Supporting scientific advancement, energy, and economic policy, and strengthening their contribution to economic growth and poverty reduction;

o Negotiating and enforcing international treaties that preserve natural resources and the global commons; and

o Elevating the status of women and girls.

  • Ensuring coherence of U.S. efforts: U.S. engagement with foreign countries is based on a whole of government approach that leverages the resources and expertise of a wide range of U.S. Government agencies and institutions. In the field, the Chief of Mission is the President’s representative and acts as CEO of the mission, driving policy priorities, balancing competing demands, and ensuring coherence across our diverse efforts. In Washington, the Department of State plays a leading role in coordinating the administration’s major development initiatives: the Global Health Initiative, Feed the Future, and the Global Climate Change Initiative.
  • Coordinating U.S. bilateral foreign assistance efforts. The Secretary of State coordinates a foreign assistance budget totaling nearly $37 billion in FY 2010. The Department of State has launched, and will further institutionalize through the QDDR, an ambitious effort to deploy our foreign assistance consistent with principles of aid effectiveness including: country ownership and mutual responsibility; sustainability; cooperation, including with other bilateral donors, multilateral and nongovernmental organizations; accountability; and gender equality.
  • Building sustainable security sector capabilities. The Department of State oversees civilian efforts to support partner nations’ provision of security, safety, and justice in a way that is transparent, accountable to civilian authority, and responsive to the needs of the public. This capacity is an essential underpinning of development progress, by promoting stability; supporting conflict mitigation, management, and reconciliation; strengthening the rule of law; and enhancing transnational and local crime prevention, intervention, and enforcement.
  • Integrating capabilities in complex security environments. The Department of State develops integrated strategies in stabilization and post-crisis situations, tailored to specific contexts, balancing military and civilian power, and linking short-term interventions with long-term development goals. For example, in Afghanistan, U.S. diplomats and development personnel work alongside our military forces in the critical areas where the majority of U.S. combat forces are operating, partnering with Afghans to enhance the capacity of national and sub-national government institutions and rehabilitate Afghanistan’s key economic sectors. Their work helps to advance short-term stabilization objectives while supporting Afghans on a path toward long-term and sustainable economic, social, and political development.

As Secretary Clinton has said, our development efforts must be viewed and measured not in terms of charity, but as means to empower citizens, institutions, and societies to meet their own needs and sustain their own development and security progress. By supporting developing countries in their efforts to become prosperous, capable, democratic societies that can ensure the security and welfare of their citizens, the Department of State will increase the number of countries that can act as responsible partners with the United States in international affairs, and help to make Americans safer and more prosperous at home.

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PRN: 2010/1359



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