The Secretary's Hometown Diplomats Program is designed to explain to America what we do and why it matters. We do this by tapping into our best resource: our people. Employees volunteer their time on scheduled trips back to their hometown (during home leave and hometown visits) to talk to local organizations, their elementary and high schools, their college alma maters, meet with state and local elected officials, and to participate in media interviews. This program is an integral part of the Department's Diplomatic Readiness Initiative, which has set ambitious new hiring targets.
At right, Hometown Diplomat Robin Meyer, political officer in Managua, talks to students in her hometown of Chicago.
Meet some of our other Hometown Diplomats:
Lois Aroian of Los Angeles, California
"Hoot" Baez of Rockport, Texas
Amber Baskette and Alberto Fernandez of Hialeah, Florida
Justin Friedman of Biddeford, Maine
Bonnie Gutman of Union, New Jersey
Ruth Hall of Middletown, Rhode Island (also see second photo below)
Tim Hall of Oconee County, South Carolina
Laura Livingston of Palm Beach, Florida
Scott Rauland of Walworth, Wisconsin
Mark Rincon of Baytown, Texas
David Schnier of Santa Barbara, California
Kevin Skillin of Indiana, Pennsylvania
Eric Whitaker of Aurora, Illinois
Ruth M. Hall spoke to students in Middletown, Rhode Island, explaining what different Foreign Service Officers do. Ms. Hall explained some of the challenges she's faced--and the rewards that come with public service. At the end of her discussion, she asked how many students might now be interested in a Foreign Service career. Several students raised their hands--tomorrow's diplomats!