The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2012

38 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / J U LY- A U G U S T 2 0 1 2 came to us from Afghanistan and Iraq supplemental allocations. SZ: In an ideal world, what would you like to be able to do to improve training? RW: A lot of what we do is tied to the State Department’s overall budget. I think we’ve tried very hard to demonstrate the value-added of training, so in tough fiscal times we’d want to make the case that it is more important than ever. If we go back to somewhat re- duced hiring, which we may have to do under the likely budget scenarios, I hope we will have demonstrated the value of training so the department would agree it is the last place you cut, rather than the first. We’d also love to expand training with USAID, where we’ve just taken the first steps, and with other agencies in general, so we can train foreign affairs professionals to- gether. At many other agencies, there’s not a lot of train- ing, so many of them contract it out. We’d like to be able to in- crease our ability to attract other agencies to FSI. We’d also like to continue to push the envelope on technology. We just got permission for our distance learning courses to run on a Macintosh and multiple browsers, not just Microsoft. We’d like anything we de- velop for distance learning to run on any kind of platform an employee has, whatever kind of phone, whatever kind of laptop. A great step would be to turn this into a wireless cam- pus, like most college campuses. Currently, the only wire- less we have is in our A-100 classroom. There are legitimate security concerns about doing that, but we hope we can move in that direction. SZ: Thank you both. ■ F OCUS “Foreign Service National training has been a very big growth area for us over the years.”