The State Department benefits the American people by advancing U.S. national security, promoting our economic interests, providing services, and reaffirming our country’s exceptional role in the world. As they do many States across the nation, these benefits directly impact the “Constitution State” of Connecticut.
Connecticut and its people have played noteworthy roles in the history of the United States and in diplomacy. In fact, former U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson was a son of Connecticut. Born in 1893 in the city of Middletown, Acheson attended Groton School and Yale University. After serving as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis and entering the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration as Under Secretary of the Department of Treasury, Acheson began his career at the Department of State in 1941, and was appointed the 51st Secretary of State in 1949. Acheson played an important role in shaping the United States' policy during the early Cold War.
Today, the State Department has a mutually-beneficial relationship with Connecticut and its institutions. For example, Yale University is a participating school in the Diplomacy Lab partnership led by the State Department’s Office of Global Partnerships. Diplomacy Lab is a public-private partnership that enables the State Department to “course-source” research and innovation related to foreign policy challenges. Partner schools like Yale University conduct research around Department-selected topics including democracy and human rights, counterterrorism, global health, and energy security. Over the course of a semester, professors guide students in developing a final work product that accomplishes the goals outlined by the Department. Students also have opportunities throughout the semester to discuss their research with State Department officials. Diplomacy Lab underscores the Department’s commitment to engage the American people, including the people of Connecticut, in the work of the State Department. The partnership also underscores the need to broaden the Department’s research base in response to a proliferation of complex global challenges.
The State Department engages with Connecticut institutions in other key areas as well. In 2016, the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons awarded a grant to Lawyers Without Borders based in New Haven, Connecticut. The $750,000 grant has been used in Lawyers Without Borders’ work to improve trafficking in persons investigations and prosecutions in Tanzania through providing detail-focused capacity-building and training and materials for criminal justice actors, and through complementary community and nongovermental organization work.
The State Department will continue to seek partnerships that benefit Connecticut’s communities and advance the United States' foreign policy priorities. Such endeavors can only bring about positive outcomes for the future of the United States, our friends, and our partners around the world.
Find out more about the Department of State's impact in American communities at Department of State by State.
Editor's Note: This entry also appears in the U.S. Department of State's publication on Medium.
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