The Foreign Service Journal, May 2021

20 MAY 2021 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL ISTOCKPHOTO.COM/RAWPIXEL COVER STORY I n a nation in need of strong, clear leadership in a broad range of domestic areas, the Biden admin- istration will also face profound foreign policy and national security challenges. Tensions with China will only grow, played out in many regions where Beijing is aggressively asserting itself diplomatically with soft power. Russia will continue its disruptive actions along its border and elsewhere. Rebuilding our alliances and re-establishing international organizations will be a priority. COVID-19, a declining economy and human rights cover concerns both at home and abroad. The State Department must reclaim a leadership role in handling international problems. Yet any rebuilding effort will fall flat if it does not include a significantly increased invest- ment in the professional development of the department’s greatest asset: its people. We arrive at this conclusion having spent decades serving in or working closely with the State Department. Education To reclaim leadership in handling international problems, State must increase investment in professional development of its greatest asset: its people. BY DAV I D C . M I L L ER J R . , THOMAS R . P I CKER I NG AND RAND BEERS Amb. (ret.) David C. Miller Jr. is president of the U.S. Diplomatic Studies Foundation. He served as U.S. ambassador to Tanzania and to Zimbabwe and as special assistant to the president for national security affairs in the George H.W. Bush administration. Amb. (ret.) Thomas R. Pickering is co-chairman of the U.S. Diplomatic Studies Foundation. A retired career Foreign Service officer, he is a former under secretary of State for political affairs and a seven- time ambassador: to Jordan, Nigeria, El Salvador, Israel, the United Nations, India and Russia. Rand Beers is co-chairman of the U.S. Diplomatic Studies Foundation. A former Foreign Service officer and member of the Senior Executive Service, he has served as acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and deputy assistant to the president for homeland security. RevitalizingState Closing the EducationGap