From Amarillo to Brownsville: The State Department's Impact on Texas

4 minutes read time
Rafts float down a river in a desert landscape with the words "State4States" and "Texas"
#State4States: The Department of State has direct impact on the state of Texas

From Amarillo to Brownsville: The State Department's Impact on Texas

On behalf of the American people, the State Department promotes and demonstrates democratic values and advances a free, peaceful, and prosperous world. By leading America’s foreign policy through diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance, the Department keeps the American people safe both at home and abroad and advances our shared economic prosperity. The State Department directly impacts the “Lone Star State” of Texas through programs that benefit Texans who want to serve their country, through environmental cooperation, and through defense partnerships.

First, the State Department actively seeks diverse candidates from across the country for U.S. Foreign and Civil Service careers, as well as fellowships and internships. For example, the Thomas R. Pickering and Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship Programs are designed to enhance diversity, encouraging applications from minority groups historically underrepresented at the Department, women, and those with financial need. Each fellowship provides financial assistance towards the completion of a two-year master’s degree in a field related to the Foreign Service, academic funding, mentorship, and two internships – one in the United States and the other abroad at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Fellows commit to a minimum of five years in the Foreign Service. Currently, there are 66 active participants from the state of Texas.

Second, the State Department has a positive impact on environmental issues in Texas through the EcoPartnerships program. EcoPartnerships between the United States and China harness the energy and ingenuity in both countries to conduct innovative projects. There are 38 current and graduated EcoPartnerships involving approximately 15 provinces and municipalities in China and 20 states in the U.S., including four in Texas. The U.S.-China EcoPartnership between the Austin-based U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development and the China Business Council for Sustainable Development produces cross-industry material reuse opportunities, while the EcoPartnership between Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings and China Huadian Corporation pursues sustainable business models for clean energy, particularly in the area of clean coal. The EcoPartnership between Houston-based Floating Windfarms Corp. and Tangshan Caofeidian New Development Area focuses on offshore windfarm technology. Finally, the EcoPartnership between Round Rock-based IMACC, Ramboll Environ, and the Suzhou State Environmental Protection Hitech Industrial Park provides real-time monitoring of air pollution at key chemical industrial parks.

The State Department’s Bureau of Political Military Affairs also has a positive and sizeable impact on Texans in a number of ways. First, in Fiscal Year 2018, Texas-based companies received approval to export $779,136,836 worth of defense articles and services licensed by the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, benefiting Texas’ defense companies. In addition, the State Department’s International Military Education and Training (IMET) program funds the education and training of international military students at various locations within Texas, including the Inter-American Air Force Academy and the Defense Language Institute at Lackland Air Force Base, as well as the Sergeant Major Academy in El Paso. These training programs provide foreign students with exposure to the culture and history of the United States and the state of Texas, while supporting the local economy. Additionally, the State Department facilitates the Texas National Guard’s State Partnership Program (SPP) with the Czech Republic, founded in 1993, and with Chile, founded in 2008. The State Partnership Program links a state’s National Guard with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship. Through these SPP’s, the Texas National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements such as training, exercises, and exchanges in support of defense security goals. The SPP has become a key U.S. security cooperation tool, facilitating collaboration across all aspects of international civil-military affairs and encouraging people-to-people ties at the state level. Finally, the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs’ Office of State-Defense Integration has a Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) assigned to U.S. Army South and another assigned to U.S. Army North—both work out of Fort Sam Houston. In a world with increasingly complex political and asymmetric security challenges, POLADs provide a direct State Department perspective to military operations and ensure commanders and their staffs benefit from the diplomatic expertise of Foreign Service Officers.

From Amarillo to Brownsville, the State Department positively impacts Texans through defense partnerships, environmental cooperation, and programs that benefit Texans who want to enter federal service. This is, however, just a brief glimpse of the Department’s relationship with the great state of Texas, as we continue to seek avenues to partner with and benefit Texas communities.

Find out more about the Department of State's impact in American communities at Department of State by State.

For more information: