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66
F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / J U LY - A U G U S T 2 0 1 1
n February, representatives from the United States
and 15 other countries gathered at Wilton Park in
the United Kingdom to debate issues related to—
as the conference organizers put it —“creating the
new diplomat.” Given the fluid, multifaceted en-
vironment in which diplomacy now operates, par-
ticipants agreed that relying on informal, on-the-
job professional education and training for diplomats makes
about as much sense as doing so for military officers.
Coincidentally, the question of what the “new diplomacy”
entails, and how to ensure that U.S. Foreign Service officers
are fully equipped to carry it out, was the subject of a report
the American Academy of Diplomacy released that same
month. Titled “Forging a 21st-Century Diplomatic Service
for the United States through Professional Education and
Training,” the AAD study calls for amassing and sustaining
the human and budgetary resources required for a system-
atic regimen of professional diplomatic education at the De-
partment of State.
That objective dovetails nicely with the thrust of the Quad-
rennial Diplomacy and Development Review, which con-
cludes that building “a civilian capacity to prevent and re-
spond to crisis and conflict and give our military the partner
it needs and deserves” cannot be done on the cheap. More-
over, it will require close collaboration, and a broad consen-
sus about what is at stake, between the executive and
legislative branches. The full report can be found on the
Academy’s Web site:
www.academyofdiplomacy.org.
Conducting the Study
In August 2009, the American Academy of Diplomacy’s
president, retired Ambassador Ronald E. Neumann, asked
me to take the lead in producing a report on how the De-
partment of State educates and trains its professionals for
their roles and missions, including specific recommendations
for changes and improvements. With funding from the Una
Chapman Cox Foundation and additional help from AFSA
and the Delevan Foundation, we assembled an advisory
group of some 25 concerned people, chaired by one of Amer-
ica’s most distinguished senior diplomats, retired Ambassa-
dor Thomas R. Pickering.
Advisory group participants included retired U.S. diplo-
matic and military officers, corporate executives, academic
experts, congressional staff members, QDDR working group
members, and representatives from the American Foreign
Service Association and the U.S. Institute of Peace. Although
they were not responsible for the study’s conclusions, the di-
rector general of the Foreign Service and the director of the
Foreign Service Institute were regular and welcome partici-
pants in the process, along with senior members of their
staffs. In addition, through the good offices of AFSA, we
T
AKING
D
IPLOMATIC
P
ROFESSIONAL
E
DUCATION
S
ERIOUSLY
A
NEW
A
MERICAN
A
CADEMY OF
D
IPLOMACY STUDY MAKES A COMPELLING CASE
FOR ESTABLISHING A SYSTEMATIC TRAINING REGIMEN AT
S
TATE
.
B
Y
R
OBERT
M. B
EECROFT
Robert M. Beecroft, a Foreign Service officer from 1971 to
2006, currently serves as a supervisory senior inspector in the
State Department’s Office of the Inspector General. His pre-
vious assignments include: ambassador and head of the Or-
ganization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s mission
in Bosnia and Herzegovina; special envoy for the Bosnian
Federation; and principal deputy assistant secretary of State
for political-military affairs, among many others.
I