The State Department serves as the coordinating federal agency for U.S. policy interests, and its Foreign Service officers comprise the diplomatic corps. Effective diplomacy, however, includes an ability to represent, among other things, U.S. commercial, agricultural and foreign assistance interests on behalf of taxpayers and businesses. USAID, in addition to providing humanitarian relief efforts globally, has been a prominent player in strengthening foreign democracies through programs focused on economic, health, education, environmental and judicial reform. These agencies and their Foreign Service officers bring technical expertise as part of our foreign policy toolkit, helping to fortify diplomatic efforts.
Stephen Callahan, Annandale
The writer is a retired senior USAID Foreign Service officer who has worked for USAID and the State Department in South Africa, Peru, Romania, El Salvador, Botswana, Kenya and Malawi.