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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Sidebar on Implementing the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review

Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services
November 16, 2012


In December 2010, the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), developed under the leadership of Secretary Clinton, was completed and disseminated to the Department of State, USAID, and their stakeholders as a blueprint for elevating American "civilian power" to advance U.S. national interests and to better partner with the U.S. military. Two years later, the recommendations made in the QDDR are being implemented to improve the effectiveness of the Department and USAID in four broad areas:

  • Adapting to the diplomatic landscape of the 21st Century
  • Elevating and modernizing development to deliver results
  • Strengthening civilian capacity to prevent and respond to crises and conflict
  • Working smarter to deliver results for the American people

In FY 2012, the Department of State concluded the first phase of implementing the QDDR, with significant achievements in the following areas:

  • The reorganization of the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment (E) to ensure our economic, energy, and environmental goals serve U.S. national security goals.
  • The establishment of the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights (J) to better coordinate our efforts and resources to advance civilian engagement and human security.
  • The establishment of three new bureaus (Bureaus for Conflict and Stabilization Operations, Counterterrorism, and Energy and Resources) to better exercise civilian leadership in preventing conflict, countering terrorism, and advancing our international energy interests.
  • Greater integration of women and girls into our policy framework, planning and budgeting, program monitoring and evaluation, and management and officer training.
  • The creation of the Joint Management Board to strengthen State and USAID's efforts to coordinate, streamline, and integrate our administrative platforms.
  • The establishment of a Chief Economist to advise on economic issues that implicate foreign policy interests and a Coordinator for Cyber Issues to lead our engagement in cyber security and other cyber issues.
  • The incorporation of QDDR principles into the selection criteria process for Chief of Missions, Deputy Chiefs of Missions, and other principal officers.

This past year, the Department also launched an implementation plan for the second phase of the QDDR, including focusing the Department's efforts on the following areas of focus:

  • Secure QDDR legislation with Congress, similar to that of the Department of Defense.
  • Strengthen Chief of Mission (COM) authority and accountability, including facilitating COM input into personnel evaluations of non-State employees serving at overseas missions and formalizing the requirement that all agencies at post provide COMs with fully transparent budgets.
  • Further integrate women and girls in all aspects of U.S. foreign policy to ensure a more inclusive, representative, and effective foreign policy consistent with U.S. values and principles.
  • Adopt a lead agency framework that will integrate policy planning and crisis response to allow State and USAID to respond more effectively to unforeseen crises around the world.
  • Recruit, retain, and train a more flexible, operational and innovative workforce to meet future foreign policy challenges. This includes considering ways to adapt the Foreign Service exam to meet the changing needs of our diplomacy, updating the Foreign Service promotion precepts, and expanding opportunities for Foreign Service and Civil Service to move between position categories.
  • Establish a senior Sanctions Coordinator to better coordinate sanctions activities in the Department and amongst the Federal agencies.
  • Intensify the incremental roll-out of new planning and budget processes to all bureau and missions resulting in a stronger linkage of expenditures to strategic goals.
  • Better evaluate our assistance programs to improve coordination and deepen inter-agency cooperation.


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