The Foreign Service Journal, September 2006

management and other stakeholders. For example, in April 2006, our new hires piloted YW279 — Department of State Applied Systems — a three- week State-specific course that is now a permanent part of the new-hire training regime. The course does not adhere strictly to the Microsoft Official Curriculum, and whether a student passes or fails is determined by a comprehensive practical in- house exam. SAIT continues to pur- sue providing more State-specific training, rather than teaching strictly industry standard curriculum. Finally, the Stefan article suggests that SAIT should teach new hires to build various servers from scratch. While this is not a core competency of IM specialists in the field, SAIT does offer an extensive IT Disaster Recov- ery course that addresses the most common contingency issues at post. Although our current curriculum does not provide instruction for the complete rebuilding of all systems, IRM personnel are given excellent reference tools. Information management in the Foreign Service is a unique job that requires our personnel to be talented in a broad spectrum of related disci- plines. As all SAIT training makes clear, providing IT support at our mis- sions worldwide is a critical and even exciting role; it is not necessarily a glamorous one. In closing, SAIT’s goal is simple: to establish a highly trained technical work force that effectively uses infor- mation technology in meeting the strategic objectives of the Depart- ment of State. David Jesser, the operations branch chief at the Warrenton Training Center, joined State in 1988. Over the course of his Foreign Service career, he has served in the information man- agement field in Hong Kong, Cairo, The Hague, Muscat and Pretoria. S E P T E M B E R 2 0 0 6 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 15 I N R E S P O N S E