Get to know U.S. Foreign Service
More than 16,000 members of the U.S. Foreign Service serve our country around the world. America's diplomats and development professionals help prevent the spread of conflict, open markets for U.S. goods, assist Americans abroad, negotiate agreements in line with U.S. goals, report on threats to the U.S. homeland and work alongside our military on a range of missions from stabilizing Iraq to earthquake relief in Haiti.
Living and working conditions can be threatening. Few of my fellow citizens realize how important the Foreign Service is to our nation. I proudly served in the Foreign Service for 37 years with the U.S. Information Agency.
The U.S. Senate has designated the first Friday in May as "American Foreign Service Day." Members of the Foreign Service around the world and here at home came together to recognize the thousands of people who commit their lives to serving the U.S. abroad and to celebrate the impact their work.
Texas is home to 2,500 Foreign Service members and their families. I hope that America's diplomats and their important work were in your thoughts this May 5. It is also my hope that my fellow countrymen take this time to get to know the Foreign Service.
The new U.S. Secretary of State, Texan Rex Tillerson, has tough challenges confronting him as the four pillars for Foreign Service -- consular, economics, political and public diplomacy -- are being challenged by the new administration.
Fred A. Coffey Jr.,