When US diplomat Maryum Saifee was based at the US Consulate in Lahore, Pakistan, she oversaw a program that brought together high-tech entrepreneurs in Austin, Texas and companies in the Punjab region of Pakistan. The goal is to expand investment and business opportunities in both countries.
“The mayor and governor are already involved with overseas counterparts, and they have been doing this for years,” says Saifee.
“So in Pakistan I was able to actually see this in action,” she explains. “It is not only increasing investment in Pakistan, but also expanding new markets and businesses for the people of Texas, which is good for both the economy as well as the people.”
Saifee states that this type of “local diplomacy” should be a priority of the State Department.
She is one of the current employees of the State Department. New report, “Transforming State” at Truman Center, a Washington think tank. This report focuses on how to make this sector more ethnically diverse, equitable and innovative, while at the same time asserting strong diplomacy to the American people by engaging with locals across the country. I’m guessing.
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The Biden administration said it wanted a foreign policy to offer to middle-class Americans. According to the author, increasing connections with cities and states can help. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also promised to make the State Department look like the United States, and announced in February that he would appoint the highest diversity and inclusion officers as a first step.
Diplomats are stationed at several universities across the country, and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy is sponsoring a bill to establish state and local diplomatic bureaus in the ministry.
“The real thing is to modernize the Department of State, diversify the ranks of diplomatic corps, expand foreign policymaking outside of Washington, and involve the mayor, governor, and locally elected civil servants to better represent the United States. I have the opportunity, “said Murphy in a statement.
Truman Center CEO Jenna Ben Yehuda said it’s important that Congress be involved. Because government agencies don’t have the members that the military has. “You can’t build an aircraft carrier in every congressional district, but you can have people with ideas all over the country.” “Who is always talking to China? The Mayor of Los Angeles office. Who is working on climate change? The people of the state are right, “she says. [and city] National level. “
It became more and more true after the Trump administration left the Paris Agreement. “All action has taken place in cities for four years, so in fact diplomats in these countries need to know that China is constantly sending people from the city level to New York and these cities.” Says Lolita Jackson. Climate change advisor in the Mayor’s Office of New York.
She became a kind of local climate diplomat and met with the Minister of the Environment of half a dozen countries without the guidance of the State Department.
“We only understood it ourselves, but since we are talking to the Irish Minister of the Environment, we may want to know about these other things that are happening in Ireland. That was great. . “”
Former diplomat Kim Olson, who contributed to the report, said diplomats can do more to help the mayor and governor understand “land laying” in dealing with foreign civil servants. say.
Olson left the Department of State in 2014, formed a family and moved to Oregon. She worked in the treasury for a while, but found that many didn’t even know what the Foreign Affairs Department was.
“Do you mean the Forest Department?” She says people told her. “It’s almost a joke.”
The State Department needs to be more diverse and involved across the United States, the report said: NPR
Source link The State Department needs to be more diverse and involved across the United States, the report said: NPR