10 Ways You Can Engage With the U.S. Department of State

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The U.S. Department of State.

10 Ways You Can Engage With the U.S. Department of State

The mission of the State Department is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster stability and progress for the American people and people everywhere. The Department is comprised of public servants – Civil Service, Foreign Service, specialists, contractors, and locally-employed staff-- many of whom work to advance this mission in complex and sometimes dangerous environments. We here in the Bureau of Public Affairs are charged with connecting the State Department to domestic audiences, directly engaging the American people to explain the Department’s policies and priorities at home and abroad.

Below are a few ways that you can stay connected to the Department:

1. Subscribe to Stay Informed!

Subscribe to the U.S. State Department email updates and communications on foreign policy developments around the world. Through these updates, we also invite citizens to visit the Department to meet face-to-face with officials who work in a broad range of key policy areas. We sponsor conferences, briefings, conference calls, and digital conferences that provide many sectors of our society an opportunity to exchange views with policymakers at the Department. 

2. Request a State Department Speaker or Attend an Event at the historic Harry S Truman Building!

Request a speaker for events in-person or via Skype and Google hangout.  We facilitate opportunities for State Department officials to speak with groups such as World Affairs Councils, Chambers of Commerce, colleges and universities, and other civic organizations.  The Department also regularly hosts public events at the Harry S Truman building, the Department’s historic headquarters.  One of our signature public programs is “Foreign Policy Classroom.”

3. Attend Foreign Policy Classroom!

Foreign Policy Classroom is a program that connects high school, undergraduate, and graduate students and faculty members with Department officials to discuss foreign affairs topics . The “Classroom” hosts monthly events at the State Department year-round. This month, we will host a Foreign Policy Classroom on “The U.S. Drugs Epidemic and the Role of International Action.”  If you want to know more about “Foreign Policy Classroom” and our outreach programs, follow the hashtag #EngageAmerica.

4. Connect with Us on Social Media!

You may already follow the State Department on Facebook and Twitter, but did you know that we’re also on Youtube, Medium, Flickr, Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat? You can follow the flagship State Department accounts or find social media accounts for U.S. embassies and consulates or specific State Department bureaus and offices here

5. Check out our Department of State by State Map!

This interactive map provides a snapshot as to how the Department of State benefits each U.S. State. Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values.  View the map to discover the value of our foreign policy investment in your state.

6. Take Part in a U.S. Diplomacy Center Diplomatic Simulation!

The United States Diplomacy Center will be the first museum and education center dedicated to the history, practice, and challenges of American diplomacy. To educate students about the role of the State Department in foreign affairs and the work of U.S. diplomats, the U.S. Diplomacy Center has developed an immersive Diplomatic Simulation Program that explores the goals and practice of diplomacy. This program is available to educators to use in the classroom and is proven to teach diplomatic skills and improve global competence in students. Also, for more information on the critical work of diplomats, please visit the Discover Diplomacy website.

7. Read our DipNote Blog!

The Department’s official blog, DipNote, provides first-hand perspectives from employees engaged in the work of diplomacy and development and serves as a forum for informal discussion among the American public on foreign affairs and global issues.  You can also follow us on Medium.com/StateDept or subscribe to the blog to receive a digest of our latest stories.

8. Check with Us Before You Travel Abroad!

Learn about visa requirements, local laws, customs, and medical care in the countries you are visiting. Be aware of any Travel Warnings or Travel Alerts for your destination country, which describe risks to you and may affect your travel plans. Also check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will be traveling for the latest security messages.

9. Download our Careers App!

As America’s lead foreign policy agency, the Department provides a rich international experience whether at home or abroad, and opportunities to become responsible leaders.  Each day, our employees make a difference as they contribute to our global society and defend and advance our country’s interests and values. Download our careers app to learn more. 

10. Ask Us a Question or Tell Us What You Think!

Contact Us to send an email to the U.S. Department of State. For information about our programs, please call at (202) 647-8411 or use our Public Communication Line at (202) 647-6575.

We hope you will use these tools to engage with us and learn more about the work we at the Department of State do in the United States and around the world.

About the Author: Rainy Young serves as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Engagement in the Bureau of Public Affairs. 

Editor's Note: This entry is also published on Medium.com/StateDept.

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