The Foreign Service Journal, June 2019

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JUNE 2019 11 TALKING POINTS “I Am a Champion…” S ecretary of StateMike Pompeo presented the new “Ethos” vision he described as operating principles for the State Department in a celebratory event held in the C Street lobby on April 26, the one-year anniversary of his swearing in. The event got going with loudspeakers booming Pharrell’s “Happy” followed by BrunoMars’ “Uptown Funk.”The Sec- retary’s address was punctuated by the unveiling of a large poster spelling out the newmandate (see photo), which he said was “inspirational, aspirational and [a] unifying statement that captures the attitude that I hope will become part of the State Department DNA.” Sec. Pompeo reviewed the changes at State during his tenure, including lifting the hiring freeze on family members and rebooting entry-level hiring. He spoke about making good on his promise to “get the teamback on the field.” He also elaborated on one of his earlier commitments: “I promised… I would communicate to you. [I] wouldn’t be somebody holed up on the seventh floor, who you never saw or heard from, that didn’t have any idea what the heck he was doing or what his teamwas doing.” Pompeo spoke of a third promise, to bring the State Department team together. He said he’s welcomed debate and “engaged withmultiple State Department leaders with whom there are disagree- ments. We don’t have a process that’s controlled by a handful of people here in the State Department.” The ethos initiative will include a new common training program that brings State’s communities together: Foreign Ser- vice, Civil Service, non-career and political appointees. Foreign Service Institute Director Dan Smith provided details on the new integrated training, whose pilot will start in the summer. “That course,” Smith said, “will intro- duce our new employees to the role and unique history of this proud institution, as well as to our principles and the behavior we expect of all of us with regard to one another and our professional conduct. The training will supplement, particularly in the case of the Foreign Service, but not supplant our existing training. “But with regard to Civil Service and non-career staff,” he continued, “it will represent an important departure from the past insofar as many of our Civil Ser- vice and non-career colleagues receive no training upon entry into the State Department.” Foreign Service professionals are every bit as patriotic and service- oriented as members of our military, and often face similar challenges in far corners of the globe. We can’t forget that their family members serve our country too and, as a result, can find it difficult to secure employment opportunities of their own. On this Foreign Service Day, Senator Van Hollen and I have introduced the Foreign Service Families Act, legislation to bolster employment opportunities for Foreign Service families wherever they are called to serve. —Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), in aMay 3 Facebook video Contemporary Quote Director General of the Foreign Ser- vice Ambassador Carol Perez gave brief remarks highlighting a new ethos award, which she said will be rolled out this sum- mer. Everyone at State is eligible. Lavender Legislation O n May 1, 19 Democratic senators reintroduced the Lavender Offense Victim Exoneration Act, or LOVE Act, which, if passed, would direct the State Department to search its archives and identify all employees who were fired or forced to resign based on their sexual orientation and formally correct their employment records. The LOVE Act was first introduced in 2017, shortly after then-Secretary of State John Kerry formally apologized for the department’s past discrimination. The Act is named for the “Lavender Scare” of the 1950s and 60s, when government employees suspected of homosexuality were forced out of their jobs. The legislation directs the department to create a formal reconciliation board under the Director General to contact all surviving employees or family members of those employees and offer them a chance to tell their story for the official record. It also calls on Congress to issue a formal apology for its role in the purge. Additionally, it mandates a board to review issues facing current LGBTQ