From Coeur d’Alene to Boise: The State Department's Impact on Idaho

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From Coeur d’Alene to Boise: The State Department's Impact on Idaho

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. Find out more about how the State Department directly impacts the state of Idaho. 

The “Gem State” is known for its scenic vistas and abundance of natural resources. It is, perhaps, less known for the role one of its lawmakers played in U.S. diplomatic history.  In the wake of World War I, Former Idaho Senator William E. Borah led a congressional effort to demand that the United States engage its two principal competitors in the naval arms race, Japan and the United Kingdom, in negotiations for disarmament. He played an integral part in the convening of the Washington Naval Conference in 1921, at which the world’s largest naval powers gathered to discuss naval disarmament and ways to relieve growing tensions in East Asia.  

Almost 100 years later, the State Department’s work still impacts American communities, including in Idaho. Did you know, for instance, that the Idaho National Laboratory received over $1.5 million from the State Department to support International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Safeguards? The U.S. Support Program to IAEA Safeguards Program provides technical and budgetary assistance for projects to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of safeguards and preparing the IAEA for future challenges, ultimately keeping both the U.S. and the international community safe. 

In the environmental arena, Idaho, along with its West Coast neighbors, has had a long-standing interest in Pacific salmon populations and their economic, social, cultural, and ecological significance. To address those concerns, the Pacific Salmon Treaty, signed between the United States and Canada in 1985, established long-term goals for the management of salmon resources shared by our countries. The Treaty includes agreement between the United States and Canada to form and maintain the Pacific Salmon Commission to ensure Treaty goals are met. The State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) is involved in the work of the Commission, along with state and tribal Commissioners. In this capacity, the State Department plays an active role in negotiating with Canadian colleagues for outcomes that balance harvest opportunities with the long-term sustainability of Pacific salmon stocks. This work ultimately has a positive impact on Idaho and its residents.

Finally, the State Department is proud to have launched the first 100K Strong in the Americas educational partnership between Boise State University and Escuela Colombiana de Ingeniería Julia Garavito in Bogotá, Colombia. The partnership will expand the research capacity and readiness for advanced study for engineering students attending the universities, as well as expand their job prospects and ability to benefit the state of Idaho and country of Colombia economically. To date, in less than five years and after 23 sets of grant competitions, higher-education institutions in a total of 42 U.S. states have received 100K awards. 

The State Department impacts Idaho in ways that benefit the state’s indigenous communities’ livelihoods, our country’s nuclear safeguards, and students who are studying critical fields like engineering. And from Coeur d’Alene to Boise, Idaho impacts 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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