Investing in a Skilled, Diverse Workforce That is Ready to Lead

Date: 07/18/2014 Description: Secretary of State John Kerry poses for a photo with the newest Civil Service Orientation Class after swearing them in at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia, on July 18, 2014.  - State Dept Image
Secretary Kerry with the graduates of the July 2014 Civil Service Swearing In Ceremony

The success of the State Department and USAID starts with our ability to recruit, train, deploy, and retain talented, dedicated professionals. Continuous investment in the professional development of our employees ensures that they have the expertise and skills to tackle global challenges. Effective leadership is critical to building the strong morale and cohesiveness necessary for effective operations and policy implementation. We are deeply committed to having a workforce that reflects our nation’s broad diversity.

We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community - and this nation.”

— Cesar Chavez


  • Expand the core curriculum and invest in training. The Department will develop a core curriculum to give Foreign Service employees deeper knowledge of the fundamentals of diplomacy. Both the Department and USAID will increase investments in training and will modernize and integrate that training into daily work.
  • Train and support effective, accountable leaders. We will strengthen leadership and accountability at all levels. For example, we will include enhanced training and coaching for managers, starting early in their careers, and develop more effective feedback and assessment tools.
  • Increase and encourage long-term training and excursion tours. We will provide additional opportunities for employees to take outside-the-agency assignments and to receive long-term training that develops expertise and fresh perspectives.
  • Increase the diversity of our workforce. We will build on efforts to recruit and retain a workforce that represents the diversity of our nation.
  • Increase tours in State Department functional bureaus. The Department will strengthen the integration of its regional and functional bureaus through steps such as encouraging Foreign Service Officers to seek tours in functional bureaus.