Putting People First on Behalf of Our Nation

3 minutes read time
Director General Carol Z. Perez at her swearing-in ceremony with U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo
Director General Carol Z. Perez at her swearing-in ceremony with U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo.

Putting People First on Behalf of Our Nation

I was honored Secretary Pompeo officiated my swearing-in ceremony as the Department of State’s 30th Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources on Friday, March 15.  The Director General helps lead the recruitment, hiring, development, and empowerment of the Department’s workforce.  To put it simply, my job is a lot like that of the chief human capital officer in many corporations, ensuring our people have the skills and experience they need to carry out the Department’s mission.  That is nothing less than advancing America’s security, prosperity and values through diplomacy.

Director General Carol Z. Perez shakes hands with Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo.

I was humbled to have former and current Department leaders and several predecessors join me for the ceremony, held in the Department’s historic Ben Franklin Room.  And I was delighted to have my family there.  Without their unconditional love and support, the 31-year journey that has been my career in the Foreign Service would not have been possible.

For over three decades, I have had the privilege of advancing our vital national interests and representing the United States overseas as a Foreign Service Officer.  In these roles, I’ve seen how the nearly 75,000 women and men of the Department of State go to work each day in more than a 180 countries around the world and here at home in the United States to:

Open markets for American business;

Stop illegal drugs from entering our country;

Protect Americans overseas;

Promote democracy and human rights;

And, strengthen the security of our nation.

I saw it most recently as the U.S. Ambassador to Chile, where my team and I worked to strengthen the ties of friendship and commerce with this important South American partner.

Director General Carol Z. Perez poses for a photo with her Front Office team.

Our people do a lot on behalf of our nation, often in challenging circumstances.  They are doers and problem solvers.  Their mission is to lead America’s diplomacy and foreign policy on behalf of the American people.  And they deserve our support—the support of their leaders and their fellow citizens. 

It is a privilege to work with Secretary Pompeo and my State Department colleagues to strengthen the world’s premiere diplomatic team and recruit the next generation of diplomats and public servants.

One Team, One Mission, One Future.

About the Author: Carol Z. Perez serves as the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources at the U.S. Department of State.