Increasing Agility

Date: 2015 Description: Increasing Agility - State Dept Image

The Department and USAID are committed to getting the right people and skills in the right place at the right time to pursue U.S. national interests abroad. The intersection of these goals drives our human capital management on all fronts, including workforce planning, talent management, performance planning, training, and accountability. We are taking the steps needed to meet emerging workforce challenges so we can achieve U.S. diplomacy and development goals, focus greater attention on crisis prevention, and be prepared to respond to new opportunities as they arise. We have done this through strengthening local staff abroad and the Civil Service workforce at home, and by recruiting more broadly to create a diverse workforce. USAID has also added depth and breadth in technical areas, and hired more Foreign Service Officers. State and USAID face internal and external constraints in our ability to adapt nimbly and tactfully, and these must be addressed whenever possible.

While the fundamentals are essential, they are not enough. American diplomats have to stay ahead of the curve — ready to adapt to new challenges and innovations and ready to lead in emerging arenas of competition and cooperation.

—William J Burns, former Deputy Secretary of State



  • Increase our ability to quickly fill positions. We will improve our procedures for identifying staffing gaps, locating expertise or additional staff, and quickly bringing in staff to fill positions left temporarily vacant, while ensuring that our existing staff is appropriately placed to advance our priorities. We will also maximize our use of current hiring mechanisms and identify new opportunities to accelerate the hiring process.
  • Make the most of our talent and expertise. We will capitalize on the skills of all of our people. For example, we will reward senior Civil Service employees, create new avenues for their career development, and fully tap the potential of locally employed staff at our missions.