Engaging Americans as Partners in Foreign Affairs


Date: 02/20/2013 Description: Secretary of State John Kerry meets with students at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, February 20, 2013.  - State Dept Image

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry meets with students at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia, February 20, 2013.

American leadership needs the active engagement of nearly every sector of our society, economy, and culture. Americans and peoples of other nations share a profound interest in knowing more about each other. The Department and USAID work with business and faith leaders, philanthropists, inventors, artists, and others to advance peace, prosperity, justice, and fairness – a ‘whole of America’ approach. We commit to greater efforts to inform and engage the American people, and to learn from them – so that the ideas and innovations of our businesses, organizations, and ordinary citizens continue to inspire our diplomatic and development efforts.


“In today’s global world, there is no longer anything foreign about foreign policy. More than ever before, the decisions that we make from the safety of our shores don’t just ripple outward; they also create a current right here in America. How we conduct our foreign policy matters more than ever before to our everyday lives, to the opportunities of all those students I met standing outside, whatever year they are here, thinking about the future.”

—Secretary John Kerry


Recommendations:

  • Increase engagement with diaspora communities, faith-based groups, and others. We will expand our partnerships with American citizens, institutions, and businesses to advance a more secure, prosperous, and just world. We will expand engagement with diaspora communities, faith-based groups, and other civic organizations; and we will connect our country’s best scientists, engineers, and technologists with their global counterparts to encourage collaboration and faster innovation.
  • Reach students and civic leaders through the “Engage America” program. Every Foreign Service employee in the Department and USAID will be expected to engage with the American people on the value of diplomacy and development. We will reinvigorate our Hometown Diplomat program, emphasizing virtual connections and a broad reach. We will continue efforts to develop online content that teachers can use to explain global issues, foreign cultures, and the role of diplomacy and development.