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The Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy
A Call to Action

The scope and complexity of the challenges the United States faces around the world demand that we transform and strengthen our foreign affairs institutions. We must adapt and evolve, or else risk falling behind. Our national security interests—including our ability to help build and sustain a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world—are best advanced when our diplomatic instruments can effectively shape the world around us.

Modernizing U.S. diplomacy will help our nation maintain its leadership role in the 21st century. We propose these recommendations as the basis for sustained bipartisan action by the Secretary of State and the Executive and Legislative Branches.

Expand and Modernize the Workforce. Our diplomatic institutions face critical, ongoing, and expanding human resource shortages. Ultimately doubling the workforces of the Department of State and the Agency for International Development (USAID) would better position both organizations to meet future challenges. Expanded training is essential—be it in critical languages or science and technology—if the U.S. is to maintain its premier diplomatic service.

Integrate Foreign Affairs Strategies and Resources. Greater integration of our foreign affairs and national security communities is a critical early step to effective planning and performance. The creation of an integrated Global Affairs Strategic Plan and Budget would enable the U.S. Government to align, jointly plan, and rationally fund all its overseas activities.

Strengthen Our Ability to Shape the World. Proactive, rather than reactive, diplomacy is essential. The Department of State must strengthen its ability to project influence and respond to disasters abroad while mitigating the effects of international political, economic, and social instability.

Harness 21st Century Technology. Consolidating the technology infrastructure, building a world-class knowledge management capability, and institutionalizing innovation will be critical to the success of a more effective and efficient ‘new-millennium’ diplomacy.

Engage the Private Sector. Modernized foreign affairs operations must utilize the immense power and knowledge of the private sector. Developing strategic public-private partnerships will help the Department engage corporations, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and academic institutions and strengthen our global relationships with these actors.

Streamline the Organizational Structure. To increase its efficiency and speed of doing business, the Department must consolidate select bureaus and offices and drive decision-making authority downwards. Unifying policy, strategy, and resource planning will improve accountability.

Track and Measure Success. Performance measurement and analysis are essential for any organization if its leadership is to develop appropriate policies and make necessary course corrections.


Established as a Federal Advisory Committee, the purpose of the Advisory Committee on Transformational Diplomacy is to provide the Secretary of State with private sector expertise related to transformational diplomacy and other institutional challenges, in particular as they concern the effective structuring, leadership and management of a global diplomacy enterprise. The Committee report will be posted on www.fido.gov.

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