Department of State

Warren Christopher, Secretary

Mission Statement

The Department of State -- the flagship institution of American foreign policy -- promotes American interests and assists American citizens around the world. Drawing on our nation's democratic values and military strength, the State Department seeks to foster a stable and peaceful international environment that ensures the security and prosperity of the American people. As the President's principal foreign policy advisor, the Secretary of State is responsible for the overall coordination and management of U.S. government activities abroad.

The State Department leads the U.S. government in defining American priorities and promoting American interests through unilateral actions, alliances, bilateral and multilateral relations, and international organizations. It directs diplomatic resources to prevent, manage, and resolve crises. It carries out statutory consular functions to protect U.S. borders and assist American citizens. The department also coordinates the activities of U.S. government agencies overseas and provides facilities and services that serve as the overseas diplomatic and administrative platform for their operations.

Summary Budget Information

FY 1993 (Actual) FY 1996 (Budgeted)
Budget Staff Budget Staff
$5.000 billion 26,000 $4.800 billion 23,700

Reinvention Highlights

The foreign policy record of this Administration is one in which all Americans can take great pride. Our efforts have been guided by four principles: We have accomplished much over the past three years. We ended the fighting in Bosnia, and eliminated the threat it posed to European security. We are bringing together former adversaries in the Partnership for Peace, and we are moving ahead with the historic process of NATO enlargement. We stopped the flight of Haitian refugees to our shores, and gave that nation a chance to build democracy. We achieved the indefinite and unconditional extension of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. We froze North Korea's nuclear program and put it on the road to the scrap heap. We stemmed a destabilizing financial crisis in Mexico and damage to other emerging markets in this hemisphere and around the world. Our economic diplomacy has produced more than 200 trade agreements which have helped to fuel an export boom, creating more than one million high-paying American jobs. These achievements would not have been possible without President Clinton's determined leadership and the bipartisan support that has sustained American dipomacy over the last half-century.

We know that without continued American leadership, we cannot hope to seize the opportunities or confront the threats of the complex post-Cold War world. We also know that in an era of scarce resources, we have an obligation to the American people to apply the most rigorous standards in spending their tax dollars. As we meet our fundamental responsibilities to safeguard our national security and advance our enduring interests, the State Department will continue doing its part to give the nation a government that works better and costs less.

Increasing Productivity and Streamlining. We will continue our efforts to increase our productivity and streamline our organization, efforts that were begun under the auspices of the National Performance Review. Strengthening our diplomacy by making it more efficient and effective has been a focus of the Department's attention. Some of our more noteworthy accomplishments over the past three years have been:

Improving Service. Last year, as part of the Department's reinvention efforts, I launched a strategic management initiative that created teams of State Department employees to examine ways of improving our service to the American people at a lower overall cost. For example, we set up an 800 number for consular crises and made travel information more available by fax-on-demand and through the Internet. And we launched interagency teams to pursue priorities such as expanding trade and combating crime more aggressively. We eliminated redundancy by combining some administrative services like warehousing and printing with other foreign affairs agencies. We also broadened our job-sharing programs and opened a child care center to make sure that we retain the most skilled and diverse workforce possible.

As Secretary of State, I am proud of our record on downsizing, streamlining, and reinventing how we do business. We have instilled a strong customer service ethic among our employees, toward both the American public and the other government agencies with which we work. Our employees have been enthusiastic participants and leaders in this process, becoming even more aware of how the line that used to separate domestic and foreign policy has all but vanished. We clearly recognize that our strength at home is inseparable from our strength abroad.

I have committed the Department of State to continue responsible efforts to increase our productivity, keep our diplomatic institutions strong and effective, and maintain an efficient, universal diplomatic presence. We will do so on behalf of the growing number of American travelers and workers, students, and business people who rely on our efforts overseas and on behalf of the American people who count on us to protect their security and prosperity at home.


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