Secretary’s Open Forum
What Is the Open Forum?
“The Open Forum (S/OF), headed by an elected Chairperson who serves directly under the Secretary of State, brings new or alternative policy recommendations to the Secretary and other principals from U.S. Government employees, at all levels, of the Department of State and USAID. The Open Forum provides opportunities for any employee to express professional views (including dissenting views) candidly, free of bureaucratic constraints, and under safeguards against pressures or penalties.” [1 FAM 022.6]
The Secretary’s Open Forum was established by Secretary of State Dean Rusk in 1967 during U.S. involvement in the Vietnam conflict. The Open Forum strengthens the American foreign policy process by encouraging creative thinking on vital policy issues, including presentations of differing visions and viewpoints. The Chairman actively solicits speakers and participants from both State Department employees and sources outside the State Department and is elected by the employees of the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development.