Sean McCormack Signs Off

Posted by Sean McCormack
February 27, 2009
Spokesman Sean McCormack Speaks With Reporters at Podium

I wrote the first post for DipNote, but I am pleased that the one today will not be the last to appear on this blog. You have let us into your lives, as we sought to let you into our lives at the State Department. Together we have created a space where our government and publics around the globe can have a conversation, a condition made inevitable by technology but also desirable because of the way we have chosen to be governed.

There is a lot the digital media team accomplished in the years I headed the Bureau of Public Affairs, and there was more that we had planned but just could not get to either because of time or resource realities. The good news is that as I leave the State Department a great team of career professionals will be able to complete projects on the drawing board and will work on others none of us have yet imagined. That is as it should be and in keeping with the spirit of innovation and creativity by so many digital media efforts.

Secretary Clinton and her team are bringing new ideas and energy to State’s digital media efforts, and I expect you will see exciting new developments in the months and years ahead. Most important, though, I see a commitment to use digital media – DipNote, state.gov, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and other platforms – to expand and deepen the conversation between State and publics around the globe. That is good for the policymakers and for those affected by the decisions made in this building.

Today will be my last day at State after nearly fourteen years in the Foreign Service, and what I am most proud of in that time is what we accomplished in this space beyond the bricks and mortar of Foggy Bottom. Now I’ll transition from helping guide DipNote and our other digital media efforts (as well as on occasion providing content) to being a reader, user, and commenter.

Comments

Comments

W. W.
|
Virginia, USA
March 6, 2009

W. Thomas in Virginia writes:

We will miss you Sean, but we will always have you on Twitter, @WThomasWebb out!

Terry
|
Connecticut, USA
February 27, 2009

Terry in Connecticut writes:

Thank you for your service Secretary McCormack. Who is your replacement?

John
|
Greece
February 27, 2009

John in Greece writes:

Mr. McCormack, Sir, I doubt if you can intellectually and virtually "leave" the building, as long as I believe that your heart and soul was, still is, and it will always be a part of this "building"!

They belong here, because you really loved what you did. That's why you had such extremely successes.

I honestly thank you very much for all the unlimited thinking perspectives that you offered to us and the new "tech-paths" you enabled to SD and the new foreign affairs millennium.

Guru
February 27, 2009

Guru writes:

Sean,

Thanks for your help and guidance in moving us forward as an organization and as a team. Our accomplishments would have been far fewer without your leadership.

It was a pleasure working for you.

michele
|
California, USA
February 27, 2009

Michelle in California writes:

keep me posted

Syrian P.
|
Syria
February 27, 2009

SNP in Syria writes:

Thank you Mr. McCormack, you did really great job not just for the digital media project but in your news conferences as well. You presented convincinly a nicer image of America to the world in desperate times. You will always be remembered as the founder of this digital project at DOS. Hope you will have a great career in whatever you endeavor.

Donald
|
Virginia, USA
February 27, 2009

Donald in Virginia writes:

Thank-You Mr. Sean McCormack for your service to the United States of America! A salute and a job well done!

May your future be bright and live long and prosper, a service well noted.

We all can appreciate the hard work you have done and remember it takes more than one to make things work, you did it very well.

Thanks Again and Godspeed!

Rosemary
|
New Jersey, USA
February 27, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

Well, I hate farewells! But thanks, Sean, for getting this started. As you have probably discovered, Hillary brings a large following with her to State, and we like being able to keep up with her activities. Dipnote and the other social networks are much appreciated as she embarks on her latest venture.

I saw you on TV last week. It was a very nice interview. Maybe your next career will be in broadcasting since you seem to be a natural for that!

Good luck, whatever you choose to do, and thanks again for being the Dipnote trailblazer and for all you have done in the Foreign Service.

Zharkov
|
United States
February 27, 2009

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

DipNote is a new idea -- direct public input to government -- and Mr. McCormick followed through on it. This achievement is worthy of an award of some kind, because it may eventually help achieve the ideal of self-government for America and other nations.

Finding something new and creative originating from any large government agency is an unusual and a unique experience, and the people taking such a risk merit every bit of praise they receive for that.

Other nations -- North Korea, Syria, China, could use this example to set up a public conversation blog or forum, and allow their citizens and others to tell government officials what they are doing right and wrong with their country but without fear of retaliation for criticism or official embarrassment. Unless they can speak freely, they will not speak at all.

As an American, I often criticize my own government for it's mistakes and I am still alive and well, still have a job, and am not in prison. This is the most important aspect of liberty -- freedom to speak about mistakes, crimes, and embarrassments, without fear of reprisal.

It is necessary that all governments be told about their mistakes when they occur or they will continue to make them.

Officials may not like what they read, but it is absolutely necessary for them to at least be aware of it. Whistleblowers do not have to be working for the government but they serve a vital function in a free society.

All governments around the world desperately need to listen to their citizens because many governments do nothing at all about their problems except talk about them. Governments will often study a problem longer than it takes to solve it. Of course, citizens need to try to solve their own problems first before government gets involved, but governments sometimes have to be told what to do by the people who need something done.

A forum or blog such as DipNote serves a vital function and every nation should have one. Mr. McCormick took a risk in allowing this blog and that shows courage. The result provides an important, valuable tool for American citizens and others who strive to improve their government.

Susan
|
Florida, USA
February 27, 2009

Susan in Florida writes:

@ Sean -- I hope you will return now and then to let us know how you are doing. You will be missed. Thank you for getting dipnote started, for all your hard work bringing it "up to speed" and for creating this site for all of us who believe that our thoughts and opinions count. Wishing the very best for you.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
February 28, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

What Susan said. Best wishes Sean!

It has been hypotheticly stated through lack of ratnal observational reference that; Incontroversial evidence that life exists after government service seems sadly lacking in open source media.

Therefore, send postcards!

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 1, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"ratnal" should have read "rational" , time for a new keyboard...this ne's toast.

It's all yur fault Sean....ths would be the second one to join many brother mice in the dustbin of Martyrdom, sacrificed to the war of ideas and Dinote's readability....(chuckle).

(grin)

Catherine P.
|
New York, USA
March 2, 2009

Catherine in New York writes:

Could you comment on why you are leaving State, and where you are going?

Kirk
|
Kentucky, USA
March 2, 2009

Kirk in Kentucky writes:

@ Sean, I've followed your posts, videos, and press statements for a few years now. You have impressed me, and doubtless many others, with your professionalism, warmth, and candor. Your work on this blog has enhanced my appreciation and understanding of world affairs like no other, as it has for hundreds of others who have visited.

I give you my deepest thanks. Whatever path you travel down next will undoubtedly take you through the valleys of challenge and peaks of success.

Best Wishes,
K in Kentucky

The best things said come last. People will talk for hours saying nothing much and then linger at the door with words that come with a rush from the heart. ~Alan Alda

John
|
Greece
March 2, 2009

John in Greece writes:

@ Catherine in New York -- We all want Sean within the SD. But, he has every right to do whatever he feels so. After all, after 14 years of service he has the right to take a "long vacation" without letting us know the "whys".

Let the guy breath! I wish you the best Sean!

.

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