Sidebar on Knowledge Leadership Initiative

Bureau of Resource Management
November 15, 2011

Photo showing that the Bureau of Information Resource Management's Office of eDiplomacy supports collaboration and knowledge sharing through programs including Corridor, Diplopedia, and Tech@State.

The Bureau of Information Resource Management’s Office of eDiplomacy supports collaboration and knowledge sharing through programs including Corridor, Diplopedia, and Tech@State. Department of State

With a set of collaborative programs widely used by its diverse, skilled, and global workforce, the Department has remained a leader in the Federal Government for knowledge sharing.

In 2011, State launched Corridor, an in-house networking service that helps Department personnel connect and work together worldwide. Corridor members publish their profiles, expand their professional networks, identify colleagues in the United States and abroad who share their professional and personnel interests or have expertise they need, and form collaborative work groups. Within six months of inauguration, more than 7,000 Department personnel in the United States and abroad had joined Corridor and had formed more than 400 groups.

Corridor is the latest addition to the suite of tools in the Knowledge Leadership initiative, an effort begun in 2003 to strengthen the Department’s leadership in foreign affairs by enabling and encouraging State personnel to find and contribute knowledge anywhere, anytime. The program exploits the power of new social media to encourage Department personnel to share their knowledge, expertise, and experience with their State colleagues and, in many cases, with the U.S. Government’s foreign affairs and national security communities:

  • The Communities@State program has more than 70 active online communities covering subjects as diverse as consular affairs, management trends, and security overseas.
  • State’s Diplopedia wiki, an online encyclopedia, provides more than 14,600 articles on foreign affairs subjects and diplomatic tradecraft. Nearly 5,000 Department personnel have contributed their knowledge to Diplopedia.
  • Enterprise search integrates these programs into a vibrant and growing knowledge resource.

Most of these programs draw on open source technology, making them extraordinarily cost effective. State has also put its experience and lessons learned on knowledge management at the disposal of more than 40 Federal agencies.

Also in 2011, State intensified its effort to draw on the knowledge resources of external partners to address diplomatic challenges. The Virtual Student Foreign Service program has connected more than 200 students at U.S. colleges and universities with over 100 missions abroad to conduct real projects on diplomatic subjects. Tech Camps, part of Secretary Clinton’s Civil Society 2.0 initiative, have brought together the technology communities and foreign civil society organizations in Asia, Europe and Latin America to foster technology solutions for pressing economic and social needs. Tech@State conferences have convened the foreign policy, development, and technology communities to identify trends and opportunities on targeted foreign policy topics, from mobile money to crisis response.