Message from the Secretary
The Department of State is strategically focused to advance the foreign policy interests of the American people via a global diplomatic agenda. At our overseas posts, U.S. field offices and Washington based bureaus, more than 30,000 foreign affairs professionals work together to address issues as diverse as reducing and preventing conflict, decreasing and minimizing cross-border crimes, advancing and promoting human and individual rights, increasing trade and investment worldwide, protecting vulnerable populations, and issuing travel documents.
For 2008, I am pleased to present this first-ever Citizens’ Report as a summary of important performance and financial results, and documents the value of our investments towards promoting and protecting the interests of American citizens. It also highlights the vital work the men and women of the Department are performing to secure our national interests across the globe. Some of the many diplomatic accomplishments in advancing U.S. prosperity and security include:
- The Department continued the civilian surge component of the President’s Iraq strategy and worked to negotiate the landmark Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, assisting Iraqis to determine their own political future through elections.
- We launched the Merida Initiative with Mexico and countries of Central America to combat the threats of drug trafficking, transnational crime and money laundering.
- Through diplomacy, our domestic and overseas officers defused the Russian-Georgian conflict.
- Together with the U.S. Agency for International Development, we ensured that more than 22.3 million people benefited from malaria prevention measures.
- The Department completed new embassy compounds overseas in Beijing, Berlin, and Baghdad, among others, enabling over 19,000 employees to move into more secure facilities.
- We issued more than 16 million travel documents to ensure safe international travel for U.S. citizens.
The Department has been focused on improving its financial performance, integrating budgeting with strategic planning and making management improvements. As a result, the Department received an unqualified (“clean”) opinion on its financial statements and achieved Green status for all five of the government-wide initiatives under the President’s Management Agenda. The summary performance and financial data presented herein are complete and reliable in accordance with the guidance from the Office of Management and Budget. The Department continues to take an active leadership role in the government-wide Performance Improvement Council and works closely with other U.S. Government agencies to increase the effectiveness of the federal government and meet the increasingly complex challenges of the twenty-first century.
I am proud to represent the Department of State’s worldwide employees who are doing vital work for America as they help people everywhere build a better world.
Secretary of State
January 15, 2009