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Diplomacy in Action

Strategic Goal 7 - Public Benefit and Summary of Performance and Resources

Bureau of Resource Management
February 24, 2012


Public Benefit

Photo showing the line forming for evacuation processing of private U.S. citizens at Cairo International Airport.

The line forms for evacuation processing of private U.S. citizens at Cairo International Airport. State Magazine May 2011

Approximately five million Americans reside abroad, and Americans make about 65 million trips overseas every year. The Department provides citizen support throughout the cycle of life, from certifying the birth of American citizens born abroad, to assisting families when an American dies overseas. The Department also assists Americans whose children have been wrongly taken to or kept in foreign countries. In collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies, the Department protects America's homeland with improved technology and efficiency at ports of entry and in visa processing and more secure U.S. travel documents. In support of this strategic goal, the Department is pursuing a multi-year hiring program to build the talented, diverse workforce needed to handle the Nation's foreign policy priorities and strengthen diplomacy. In addition, the Department continues its commitment to using "green" technologies in embassies and consulates, and to maximize funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to expand consular services offered to American taxpayers.

Summary of Performance and Resources

Pie chart summarizing the FY 2011 resource invested for Strategic Goal 7. Values are: State Operations: $6.919 billion. Foreign Operations: $1.702 billion. Total resources invested: $8.621 billion.

The Department allocated $8.621 billion toward this Strategic Goal in FY 2011, which is 18 percent of the total State-USAID budget for all strategic goals. The Department and USAID met or exceeded targets for 63 percent of performance indicators for Strategic Goal 7. Thirteen percent of indicators were below target, and 13 percent of indicators improved, but did not meet targets. Ratings were not available for 12 percent that are new indicators or data are not yet available.1

Key Selected Achievements

  • Three Department buildings in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Washington State received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. The Department's Regional Center Building in Charleston, South Carolina received LEED Platinum certification and is scheduled to achieve net zero energy with onsite solar and wind renewable energy generation.
  • Worldwide visa applications increased by more than 14 percent in FY 2011. The Department provided more resources, domestic support and personnel to ensure that posts experiencing exceptional growth could maintain appropriate levels of service, in particular in Brazil and China. The Department utilized post-9/11 technical and interagency collaboration to reduce Security Advisory Opinion (SAO) backlogs to form the foundation for the foundation for the development of a more secure, automated, and efficient SAO process. Since the beginning of the Department's Diplomacy, Development, and Defense (D3.0) initiative, the Department has increased the number of Foreign Service positions by 17 percent and the number of Civil Service positions by 5 percent and has been aggressively hiring Foreign and Civil Service personnel to increase staffing capacity. The Department's efforts to staff Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan have been successful with over 95 percent of positions filled. Human Resources Shared Services is working with its partners to deliver services more efficiently and effectively by automating processes and providing self-service applications and, at the time of preparing this document, the Department had 78 human resource service applications available electronically.

1 Percentages rounded to the nearest whole number. (back to text)


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