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Knowledge Base

Diplomacy In A Time Of Transition

What is the United States Foreign Service?

The foreign service of the United States is supposed to be a corps of professional diplomats capable of carrying out the nation’s foreign policies both at home and abroad. 

To learn more, read James Goodby chapter in Blueprint for America here

What is the Foreign Service Institute (FSI)?

The Foreign Service Institute is the federal government's primary training institution for employees of the US foreign affairs community. FSI trains Department of State and other US government agency employees involved in foreign affairs and encourages research and other studies of new and developing areas of foreign policy concerns. 

A critical function of the FSI is to provide intensive instruction in over 60 languages for Foreign Service Officers and other government employees assigned overseas. FSI also offers a variety of area studies courses that familiarize foreign service personnel with the specific geographic/cultural area to which they are assigned. The Institute also assists personnel and their families going to, or returning from, overseas assignments in cross- cultural and lifestyle adaptation, in addition to family and work adjustment/readjustment.

To learn more, please click here.

What role does the US Department of State play?

The Department of State advises the President and leads the nation in foreign policy issues. The State Department negotiates treaties and agreements with foreign entities.

What are the duties of the Secretary of State?

The Secretary of State, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser. The Secretary carries out the President’s foreign policies through the State Department.

To learn more, please click here.