The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

24 MAY 2024 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Hillary Rodham Clinton was the 67th U.S. Secretary of State. Dear Members of the Foreign Service and American Foreign Service Association, I am pleased to extend my heartfelt congratulations and gratitude as you celebrate 100 years of advancing American interests abroad. Though often unsung on the front pages of newspapers or on cable news, your daily work is vital to our nation’s security, values, and prosperity. It was the privilege of a lifetime to serve alongside many of you as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Together, under President Barack Obama’s leadership, we restored America’s commitment to diplomacy and rebuilt our reputation in the world. We started the pivot to Asia and revitalized the trans-Atlantic alliance. Together, we put women’s rights, gay rights, and human rights at the center of American foreign policy. We pioneered new forms of economic and energy statecraft that the Biden administration is now taking to the next level. We built global coalitions to curb nuclear proliferation, tackle climate change, and promote democracy. And we made important internal changes, too. We made it easier for Americans to change the sex listed on their passports, explicitly protected employees and job applications against discrimination based on gender identity, and extended the full range of legally available benefits and allowances to same-sex domestic partners of Foreign Service staff serving abroad. I hope you’re as proud of this record of accomplishment as I am. I’m also proud that so many of you continue to build on the foundation we laid. The Biden administration has done a remarkable job defending democracy in Ukraine, expanding NATO, and facing down Russian aggression. You’ve skillfully managed the challenge from China and used creative diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific. You’ve strengthened our alliances and partnerships around the world and stood up for our values. BY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON Of the “three Ds,” defense often gets the most attention (and the most money). But readers of this journal know better than anyone the enduring power of diplomacy and development to keep us safe and to promote our interests around the globe. Diplomacy and development take creativity, patience, and determination. They’re not for the faint of heart and not always glamorous. It’s like what Max Weber said about politics: it’s the long, slow drilling of hard boards. But through times of peace and conflict, the Foreign Service has been at the center of what I still call “smart power.” It’s only possible because of your talent, dedication, and persistence. I remember learning that in the weeks and months after major attacks against the United States, applications to the Foreign Service went up. People want to serve our country, even when it means being in harm’s way. Nothing speaks more to the character and dedication of those who represent our country around the world, including all of you. As we look to the next 100 years of American global leadership, we will continue to face cross-cutting and interconnected global challenges that defy both national borders and easy solutions: antidemocratic backsliding, climate change, poverty, attacks on women’s rights, international terrorism, and more. No one nation can solve any of these problems alone. Each one calls for a global network of partners, all working in concert. Building those coalitions is one of the great tests of American leadership, and I am absolutely confident you are up to the challenge. There are no finer public servants in the world, and I know that you will continue to make the U.S. Foreign Service, the State Department, and our country proud. Congratulations on this milestone, and all my best wishes for much continued good work. Sincerely, Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton n FOCUS ON CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION At the Center of Smart Power