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Maryum Saifee hide caption .
toggle caption Maryum Saifee U.
Saifee says this type of ‘subnational diplomacy‘ should be a priority at the State Department.
She is one of the current State Department employees who contributed to a new report, ‘Transforming State,’ from the Truman Center, a think tank in Washington.
The report focuses on how to make the department more ethnically diverse, equitable and innovative, while making a case for strong diplomacy to the American public by engaging locally across the country.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, D.
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AFP via Getty Images hide caption .
toggle caption Manuel Balce Ceneta/AFP via Getty Images Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives at a news conference at the State Department in Washington, D.
A new report urges the State Department to implement key changes to improve its local approach and diversity.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also promised to make the State Department look more like America, announcing in February that he would appoint a chief diversity and inclusion officer as a first step.
, is sponsoring legislation to create an office of state and local diplomacy in the department.
‘We have a real opportunity to modernize the State Department so the agency can better represent America, both by diversifying the ranks of our diplomatic corps and expanding foreign policymaking outside of Washington to bring mayors, governors and local elected officials into the fold,’ Murphy said in a statement.
So really, the diplomats who are in these countries need to know that China sends people from the city level to New York and to these cities all the time,’ says Lolita Jackson, a climate change adviser in the New York City mayor’s office.
She’s become a sort of local climate diplomat, meeting with environment ministers from half a dozen countries — without guidance from the State Department.
Kim Olson, a former foreign service officer who contributed to the report, says diplomats could do more to help mayors and governors understand the ‘lay of the land’ in their dealings with foreign officials.
She worked for some time in the State Treasury and found that many people didn’t even know what the foreign service was.