The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2022
24 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Service, embedded within a governor or mayor’s office (many now have international affairs offices), they could serve as reporting officers for the State Department and informkey national security priorities, complementing efforts like the Biden administration’s push to advance a “foreign policy for themiddle class.” The Pearson Fellows can also serve as site officers when foreign delegations arrive in cities and help ensure greater subnational- national alignment on foreign policy. And as Secretary of State Antony Blinken prioritizes building a State Department that looks like America, the fellows can be outreach ambassadors for the department, complementing efforts of existing diplomats in resi- dence who are stretched thin and cover wide geographic areas. 3. Integrate subnational diplomacy into tradecraft. Because subnational diplomacy actors across the United States represent an untapped, relatively unknown tool in the tradecraft toolbox, the State Department should find ways to integrate subna- tional diplomacy into training efforts. This could be accomplished through a standalone module on subnational diplomacy at the Foreign Service Institute or by integrating the concept into politi- cal, economic and public diplomacy tradecraft courses. Step 3: Sustain Momentum Once a Subnational Diplomacy Office is established, staffed and resourced, the next (andmost important) step is to sustain momentum. The State Department should use its convening power and resources to nourish subnational networks, similar to our robust engagement inmultilateral fora. By doing so, the department can become a leader in subnational diplomacy and create a space for sharing best practices, incubating new ideas and scaling up pilot initiatives that work. As Secretary Blinken has said repeatedly, our nation’s diversity is what makes us strong. Leveraging subnational diplomacy to tap into greater geographic and demographic diversity across the country will make our foreign policy smarter, more creative and ultimately more effective in addressing the complex global challenges of the 21st century.