People-to-People Engagement in World Affairs Resolution
... Whereas the National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 declares the sense of Congress
that the United States should commit to a long-term and significant investment in
promoting people-to-people engagement with all levels of society in other countries;
Whereas international exchange programs, which ha ...
African Americans in foreign policy
African-Americans in foreign policy in the United States catalogs distinguished African Americans who have and continue to contribute to international development, diplomacy, and defense through their work with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Information Agency, and the U.S. Congress, and other notable agencies and non-governmental organizations. The creators acknowledge the presence of the interagency contributions to the foreign affairs realm, and welcome additional content to showcase the achievements of African-Americans in other relevant USG agencies.African-Americans have mobilized to make visible issues to be reflected in American foreign policy decisions. African-Americans continue to leverage knowledge of global issues and create linkages with people of color throughout the world to gain insight and allies in the struggle for equal rights. Whether the influence came from civic organizations, religious institutions or charismatic leaders, the African-American voice has not been silent in articulating their views on how foreign policy should be created. African–Americans also made recommendations and participated in the formation of foreign policy of the United States to shape domestic policy regarding civil and human rights.In 2008, African Americans represented 5.6% of the approximately 11,471 members of the U.S. Foreign Service. This percentage falls short of the number of African Americans in the civilian workforce and the general population but represents, over time, efforts to promote diversity through senior-level appointments and recruitment into the career Foreign Service.The first African American diplomat, Yale graduate Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett, was appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant as Minister Resident and Consul General in Haiti in 1869. From Bassett's appointment in 1869 through the 1930s, the United States sent scores of African American ministers, consuls, and other officials to regions including Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Many of these officials (including Frederick Douglass, James Weldon Johnson, Archibald Grimke, George Washington Ellis, and Henry Francis Downing) were also literary writers, and their work in international diplomacy influenced the ways in which they approached racial diplomacy during the New Negro era and the Harlem Renaissance. It was not until 1924 when the Rogers Act combined the Consular and Diplomatic Service that James Carter and William Yerby became the first African Americans to enter the regular career Foreign Service. They were joined by Clifton Wharton, Sr. who was named Ambassador to Norway in 1961. After Wharton, Sr., no other African American entered the Foreign Service for the next 20 years. During this period, the U.S. Agency for International Development and its predecessor organization also hired a number of African Americans who distinguished themselves as senior diplomats.African American ambassadors and senior diplomats have not all come from the ranks of the State Department and USAID. The former United States Information Agency began an active recruitment effort aimed at African Americans in the latter part of the 1950s and 1960s and attracted numerous officers who achieved ambassadorial rank. African Americans have also played a major role in international affairs with the United Nations and United States Congress. Recent efforts made by Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, Colin L. Powell and Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton to increase diversity in the Department and to attract more minorities to the Foreign Service bode well for augmenting the under-representative number of African Americans in the Service and for achieving a broader geographical distribution of African American Ambassadors throughout the world.