On this date in 2007, in the midst of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), my predecessor, Sean McCormack, launched the State Department’s official blog, DipNote. DipNote was the first U.S. Cabinet-level, agency-wide blog and represented a new means of explaining our work to the American people — and to the world. That same year, the State Department launched its official Twitter and YouTube accounts. Today, it is routine for organizations to leverage connective technologies, but at the time, those new accounts were radical steps forward. As Sean wrote when he launched DipNote, he wanted to open a window into the work of diplomacy, to make the work of the Department more accessible to the public.
Fifteen years later, as I conclude a busy week at the 77th UN General Assembly in New York City, I am reminded how critical it is that we remain committed to those principles of transparency and openness. This is essential because the issues that American diplomats work on, from combating food insecurity to advancing global health and global health security, affect all of us.
I’m also constantly reminded how important it is that we communicate the work of the State Department, tell the story of American diplomacy, and engage with the public. Each day at UNGA, I shared readouts of the day’s activities from my Instagram account , and officials across the Department shared what they were doing at UNGA through the Department’s flagship social media accounts. Beyond UNGA, we are sharing the work of the Department through initiatives like “Walks With Tony ,” the latest of which informs you about the work of diplomatic interpreters and how you can apply to become one. Secretary Blinken is sharing his love of music through his official Spotify account , highlighting artists and genres from the United States and all around the world. Our “Week at State” videos and newsletters help you stay up-to-date with Secretary Blinken’s events and all that is happening at the Department.
And a lot happens at the Department every week. But no matter how busy we are, I often recall a sentiment that Secretary Blinken conveyed in his first major speech as Secretary of State. The Secretary said: “We serve the American people. And we will do everything we can to make you proud.” That’s something my colleagues and I at the Department take seriously, and another reason why we remain committed to transparency and will continue to help tell the Department’s story through this blog site and other efforts.
As we we mark DipNote’s 15 years, I want to thank its readers and all of you who follow our accounts and who remain engaged in American diplomacy.
About the Author: Ned Price serves as Department Spokesperson.