The Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs (OPE) works diligently to find ways for the U.S. Department of State to engage the American people and increase their awareness and involvement in the Department and its work.
In the spirit of American democracy, OPE works to create an atmosphere of inclusion and transparency, encouraging Americans from across the country to share their views and to offer their stories and ideas regarding foreign affairs. We strive to fulfill our mission through various forums that allow us to reach all sectors of civil society. Each year we reach tens of thousands of students, business leaders, members of nonprofit, faith based, diaspora organizations, and more. We believe that everyone should have a seat at the foreign policy table and have the opportunity to understand the foreign policies the Department of State is implementing on behalf of the American people.
Briefings and Conferences at the U.S. Department of State
To support an ongoing dialogue, we arrange briefings and conferences in the historic Harry S Truman building for public groups upon request. We also regularly invite citizens to visit the Department to meet face-to-face with officials of all levels who work in a broad range of key policy areas. We sponsor conferences, briefings, conference calls, and digital video conferences that provide many sectors of our society an opportunity to exchange views with Department officials.
Connecting With Americans Outside Washington, DC
In addition, we work to ensure that State Department leaders are reaching out to Americans in their communities around the country. Through liaison with civic and foreign policy groups, the team promotes opportunities for dialogue with policymakers at forums such as World Affairs Councils, Chambers of Commerce, colleges and universities, national civil society conventions, regional conferences, and board meetings. The team also accomplishes this through the Foreign Affairs Campus Coordinator Program, which maintains relationships with networks of college students, and the Hometown Diplomats Program, in which diplomats visit educational, civic and local organizations in their hometowns. These public outreach trips range from half to multiple-days, and aim to encourage the free exchange of information and opinions with a broad cross-section of community groups.
Providing Information and Making Sure Your Voice Is Heard
Our office is also a central hub for receiving, tracking, and reporting citizens’ opinions to the Department’s experts and leaders. OPE provides numerous platforms for citizens to voice their thoughts and comments on issues that concern them most. We receive opinions and comments by phone, hardcopy mail, electronic mail, and social media outlets. We respond to general information requests addressed to the Secretary of State and other Department officials.
Browse our web pages to find out how you can join the dialogue today!