The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JULY-AUGUST 2021 47 FEATURE Joel Ehrendreich is a Senior Foreign Service officer currently working in the Bureau of Legislative Affairs. He previously worked as the foreign policy adviser (POLAD) to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and on various assignments in the State Department bureaus of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, South and Central Asian Affairs and African Affairs. In 2011, he won AFSA’s William R. Rivkin Award for Constructive Dissent. He is a member of the FSJ Editorial Board. AProposal for Professional DiplomaticEducationand Outreach toAmerica This timely project proposal offers a single solution to achieving several top-priority goals. BY JOE L EHRENDRE I CH T hree forces are creating a perfect storm right now, exposing the need for gener- ational reform at the State Department. First, the belief that the Foreign Service should pursue professional education for its officers during their careers is widespread, considered long overdue by many. Second, the State Department has long endeavored to build its domestic constituency, reaching out to the American people to better explain why and how its work is relevant to them. Third, subnational diplomacy (also known as city and state diplomacy) is playing an increasingly significant role in for- eign policy. Subnational diplomacy can be a key contributor to the new administration’s vision, as articulated in the Interim National Security Strategy Guidance, for a “foreign policy for the middle class.” We need to recognize what is at stake, and seize the moment to, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at his confirmation