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A Review of U.S. Diplomatic Readiness: Addressing the Staffing and Foreign Language Challenges Facing the Foreign Service


Location: Dirksen Senate Office Building SD-342

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Member Statements


At the request of this Subcommittee, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) undertook two reviews of diplomatic readiness at the U.S. Department of State. First, GAO analyzed experience and staffing gaps that may complicate the Department of State’s efforts in conducting foreign policy at its overseas posts. Second, GAO reviewed language proficiency shortfalls at the Department’s missions abroad. This hearing focused on the findings and recommendations from those reviews. The full GAO Reports can be accessed online:


Panel 1

  • The Honorable  Nancy J. Powell
    Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources
    U.S. Department of State
    Download Testimony (68k)
  • Mr.  Jess T. Ford
    Director, International Affairs and Trade
    U.S. Government Accountability Office
    Download Testimony (258k)

Panel 2