|Create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of |
the American people and the international community.
Commitment to the United States and the American people.
Maintenance of high ethical standards and integrity.
Excellence in the formulation of policy and management practices
with room for creative dissent. Implementation of policy and
management practices, regardless of personal views.
Responsibility for achieving United States foreign
policy goals while meeting the highest performance standards.
Dedication to teamwork, professionalism, and the customer perspective.
State Department/Ann Thomas
American diplomacy is based on the fundamental beliefs that our freedom is best protected when others are free; our prosperity depends on the prosperity of others; and our security relies on a global effort to defend the rights of all. In this extraordinary moment in history, when the rise of freedom is transforming societies around the world, the United States has an immense responsibility to use its diplomatic influence constructively to advance security, democracy, and prosperity around the globe.
At our headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Department's mission is carried out through six regional bureaus - each of which is responsible for a specific geographic region of the world - the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, and numerous functional and management bureaus. These bureaus provide policy guidance, program management, administrative support, and in-depth expertise in matters such as law enforcement, economics, the environment, intelligence, arms control, human rights, counternarcotics, counterterrorism, public diplomacy, humanitarian assistance, security, nonproliferation, consular services, and other areas.
The Department operates more than 260 embassies, consulates, and other posts worldwide. In each Embassy, the Chief of Mission (usually an Ambassador) is responsible for executing U.S. foreign policy goals and coordinating and managing all U.S. Government functions in the host country. The President appoints each Ambassador, whom the Senate confirms. Chiefs of Mission report directly to the President through the Secretary. The Diplomatic Mission is also the primary U.S. Government contact for Americans overseas and foreign nationals of the host country. The Mission serves the needs of Americans traveling and working abroad, and supports Presidential and Congressional delegations visiting the country.
The Department operates national passport centers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Charleston, South Carolina; a national visa center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and a consular center in Williamsburg, Kentucky; two foreign press centers; one reception center; 13 passport agencies; five offices that provide logistics support for overseas operations; 20 security offices; and two financial service centers.
Secretary Rice announces a new direction for U.S. Foreign Assistance, January 2006. State Department photo
In the business of diplomacy, people are critical. The Department's success in achieving its mission is directly tied to the creativity, knowledge, skills and integrity of our dedicated team of employees. The Department's Foreign Service, Civil Service and Foreign Service National employees serve at Headquarters, embassies, consulates, and other posts around the world. Our employees are committed to carrying out the President's foreign policy agenda and to sharing American values with the world.
The Foreign Service and the Civil Service in the Department of State and U.S. missions abroad represent the American people. They work together to achieve the goals and implement the initiatives of American foreign policy. The Foreign Service is a corps of over 11,000 employees. Foreign Service Officers are dedicated to representing America and to responding to the needs of American citizens living and traveling around the world. They are also America's first line of defense in a complex and often dangerous world. A Foreign Service career is a way of life that requires uncommon commitment. It offers unique rewards, opportunities, and sometimes hardships. Members of the Foreign Service can be sent to any embassy, consulate, or other diplomatic mission anywhere in the world, at any time, to serve the diplomatic needs of the United States.
The tables below show the distribution of the Department's workforce by employment category, as well as what proportion of the workforce is located overseas.
In FY 2006, the Department and USAID structured their work around twelve strategic goals that centered on four core strategic objectives, as shown in the diagram below.