The Foreign Service Journal, April 2022

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | APRIL 2022 15 anticipation and a new sense of purpose so early in my career. In subsequent years, he would publish congratulatory letters during TLG’s respective 40th and 45th commemoration programs. In his first week as Secretary, Powell stated: “I am not coming in just to be the foreign policy adviser to the president. I’m coming in as the leader and manager of this department.” To address staffing issues that had plagued the department since the mid-1990s, Powell announced that the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative would hire 1,158 employees above attrition to ensure officers could secure leadership and other longer-term training opportu- nities between assignments, as is done in the Department of Defense. He took his case to Congress, securing additional resources for the groundbreaking initia- tive. Powell then announced that he wanted the makeup of the department to reflect America’s diverse demographics. Suddenly I was among those called on to participate in photo and video shoots, to serve as the face of the State Depart- ment’s new and improved recruitment strategy. Similarly, Powell’s morale-boosting decision to have a desk officer brief Presi- dent George W. Bush prior to his first trip to Mexico immediately reverberated throughout our domestic offices, U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Powell noted that the desk officer maintains the expertise and should be the one tapped for such a high-level briefing. This established newfound confidence that the Secretary would actively call on a broad range of talent to advance our foreign policy imperatives and spoke directly to his “One Team, One Mission” philosophy.