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#ThrowbackThursday: Secretary of State Talks With Traveling Press Corps En Route to Iraq

Posted: 2:21 am ET

 

Via state.gov:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to members of his traveling press corps aboard an Air Force cargo jet flying him from Amman, Jordan, to Baghdad, Iraq, on June 23, 2014. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

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#ThrowbackThursday: Secretary of State Answers Questions During the Daily Press Briefing

Posted: 2:02 am ET

 

Via state.gov

Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks from Boston and answers questions from the press during the State Department’s Daily Press Briefing in Washington, D.C., on June 16, 2015 [State Department Photo/ Public Domain]

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#ThrowbackThursday: Secretary of State Holds Town Hall With @StateDept Employees

Posted: 1:36 pm ET

The photograph below was taken on May 30, 2013, about four months into Secretary John Kerry’s tenure as the 68th Secretary of State.  Secretary Rex Tillerson assumed office on February 1, 2017 as the 69th Secretary of State. So we’re going to start our watch on when Secretary Tillerson will actually hold his first town hall and answer questions from his demoralized employees. Or is that though terrifying to Mr. Tillerson’s handlers?

Via state.gov:

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry responds to a question from a Department employee during a town hall meeting at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on May 30, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

 Meanwhile, the current Secretary of State apparently has big plans for the State Department but his employees first learned about it from the New York Times instead of hearing it directly from their new boss.  Now we’re hearing that a wave of consultants have descended down USS Foggy Bottom to map out eeeeeverything!

“The first step was to find out where the Titanic was, and then it was to map out where everything else is,” Mr. Hammond said, likening the department’s organizational structure to a sunken ocean liner and its seabed surroundings. “I think we’re still in the process of mapping out the entire ocean floor so that we understand the full picture.” 

 

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68 Delivers Farewell and Thanks to Foggy Bottom, See More Goodbyes and Parting Thoughts

Posted: 3:33 pm PT

 

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U.S. Diplomacy Center Pavilion Opens With @JohnKerry, @HillaryClinton, @madeleine, and Colin Powell

Posted: 5:47 pm PT

 

Secretary of State John Kerry together with former Secretaries of State Madeleine K. Albright, Colin L. Powell, and Hillary Rodham Clinton marked the completion of the U.S. Diplomacy Center Pavilion located at the State Department’s 21st Street Entrance on January 10 with a well-attended reception.

The U.S. Diplomacy Center (@DiplomacyCenter) will be a 40,000 square foot, state-of-the-art museum and education center dedicated to telling the story of American diplomacy. Visitors will explore the role of diplomacy through interactive exhibits, compelling artifacts, hands-on education programs, and diplomatic simulations.  The Center’s goal is “to demonstrate the ways in which diplomacy matters now and has mattered throughout American history.  Diplomacy and the work of our diplomats in over 250 embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic missions are vital to our nation’s power, image, and ability to advance its interests around the globe.”

The funds used for this project?  The Department of State has a public-private partnership with the Diplomacy Center Foundation (DCF), founded by the late Senator Charles McC. Mathias, Ambassador Stephen Low and others. The costs for the construction of the museum and the fabrication of the exhibits are raised through a private sector capital campaign. The Department of State contributes space, staff and security for the Center. Taxpayers will not be paying for building the USDC; the center makes up less than .003% of the Department of State’s annual budget.

Here is a bit of history on the Center via the Foundation:

Foreign Service Ambassador Stephen Low (1927 — 2010) and Senator Charles “Mac” Mathias, R-MD (1922-2010) formed the Foreign Affairs Museum Council (FAMC), a nonprofit organization, to help build the first facility dedicated to American diplomacy in the United States and to raise funds from the private sector for the project. In 2013 the FAMC Board of Directors changed the name to Diplomacy Center Foundation. […] In 1999, Ambassador Low and Senator Mathias met with Secretary Madeleine K. Albright about their vision for a museum and education center of American diplomacy. Secretary Albright recognized the need and decreed that the museum should be located at the Department of State.

In 2010, Secretary Clinton appointed Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, Ambassador to Portugal, retired, to lead the fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Department. Simultaneously, the leadership of the Foreign Affairs Museum Council was assumed by William C. Harrop, a career Foreign Service Officer who had served as United States Ambassador to five countries. To date, $47.5 million of private sector funds have been raised from corporations, foundation and individuals toward the $55 million needed to build the Center. Under this new Pavilion will be the Founding Ambassadors Concourse where educational conferences, symposia and other USDC events will take place. The Founding Ambassadors initiative is led by Stuart A. Bernstein, Ambassador to Denmark, retired.

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Related posts:

 

Photo of the Day: Secretary Kerry Examines the Sultan’s Parade Horses in Sokoto, Nigeria

Posted: 3:44 am ET

 

Secretary Kerry Examines Some of the Sultan's Parade Horses in Sokoto U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, joined by Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, examines some of the Sultan's parade horses after delivering a speech about countering violent extremism and promoting good governance following a meeting with government officials and religious leaders at the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, Nigeria, on August 23, 2016. [State Department Photo/ Public Domain]

Secretary Kerry Examines Some of the Sultan’s Parade Horses in Sokoto
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, joined by Sultan Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, examines some of the Sultan’s parade horses after delivering a speech about countering violent extremism and promoting good governance following a meeting with government officials and religious leaders at the Sultan’s Palace in Sokoto, Nigeria, on August 23, 2016. [State Department Photo/ Public Domain]

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Photo of the Day: Former President Bush Chats With Secretary Kerry and Former Secretary Baker

Posted: 12:02  am ET

 

Former President George H.W. Bush chats with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III in Baker's private office at Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston, Texas, after Secretary Kerry arrived on April 26, 2016, to deliver a speech at Secretary Baker's namesake institution about religion and foreign policy. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

Former President George H.W. Bush chats with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III in Baker’s private office at Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston, Texas, after Secretary Kerry arrived on April 26, 2016, to deliver a speech at Secretary Baker’s namesake institution about religion and foreign policy. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

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Secretary Kerry Takes Questions From @StateDept Kids at Take Your Child to Work Day

Posted: 12:32 am PT

On April 28, 2016, Secretary Kerry took questions from State Department kids who participated in the Take Your Child to Work Day in Foggy Bottom. Ben. F. Franklin was in attendance. Last year, Secretary Kerry also allowed himself to be quizzed (see Foreign Service Kids Grill Secretary Kerry During Take Your Child to Work Day).  Below is an excerpt from the Q&A:

 

QUESTION: Okay. Hi. Once you’re finished being Secretary of State, what are your plans?
SECRETARY KERRY: Honestly, I don’t know yet. I really don’t. I’ve begun to kind of occasionally have a thought cross my mind about it, but I’ve got too much work to do between now and then. We have another nine months, I guess, or so, and I just – and first – and I’m not allowed. I’m not allowed to talk to a company or something like that while I’m Secretary, which is a good rule. So I’ll think about it starting the day I leave. (Laughter.) Okay?
QUESTION: Okay. Thank you.
SECRETARY KERRY: What do you suggest? Do you got any ideas? (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Not really.

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QUESTION: So what did you, like – what made you think that you wanted to be Secretary of State?
SECRETARY KERRY: Not becoming president of the United States. (Laughter, applause.)
Actually, I’ll tell you the truth. I’m going to tell you the truth: When I was running for president of the United States, I actually said to my staff, “The best job in the government is actually not president, it’s secretary of state.” That’s what I said, and I still – believe it even more now. Thank you.

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QUESTION: On your plane, do they have, like, beds and stuff? (Laughter.)
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, you’re opening a very, very sore subject. (Laughter.) Because, yes, there is a bed – one bed. You can probably guess who gets it. (Laughter.) The plane – it’s a great plane, and the Air Force does an extraordinary job of flying us around the world. As you know, I have flown now more than a million miles since I’ve been Secretary, and we’ve been to over 81 countries. But I have to tell you it’s an old plane that is – and it’s tough on the staff, because the seats aren’t as modern and don’t go far as back, and you can’t lie down. And so for me, I can actually lie flat, but nobody else on the plane gets to lie flat unless you lie on the ground, bring a futon – and I haven’t seen a lot of people do that on this plane. So hopefully over time we can fix that up a little bit. But there is one bed.

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QUESTION: Hi. I’m Savannah. I’m nine. And I wanted to know who you’re going to vote for president for 2016. (Laughter and applause.)
SECRETARY KERRY: Okay. So I’m going to give you a half answer, okay? I’m not allowed to get into politics, and I don’t get into politics, but it is well-known that I work for President Obama, President Obama is a Democrat, I was elected as a Democrat to the Senate, and I served and I ran for president of the United States as a Democrat. So you can count on the fact I will be voting for the Democrat, okay? (Applause.) Thank you.

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POTUS at the @StateDept Chiefs of Mission Conference

Posted: 3:31 pm EDT

 

 

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State/OIG: Classified Material Discovered in Unclassified Archives

Posted: 2:09 pm EDT

 

The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Office of Evaluation and Special Projects is examining the State Department’s records preservation and the use of personal hardware and software by five Secretaries of State (Albright, Powell, Rice, Clinton, and Kerry) and their immediate staff. On March 4, State/OIG posted the OIG (Linick) – M (Kennedy) memorandum on classified material discovered in the archives and its removal for secured storage:

During the course of this evaluation, OIG searched unclassified archives and discovered records suggesting instances in which potentially sensitive material may have been transmitted via personal email accounts or other unclassified means to Secretary Powell or to Secretary Rice’s immediate staff. None of the material was marked as classified, but the substance of the material and “NODIS” (No Distribution) references in the body or subject lines of some of the documents suggested that the documents could be potentially sensitive. On October 19, 2015, OIG transmitted to the Department and separately to the Inspector General for the Intelligence Community (ICIG) for classification review 19 separate Office of the Secretary archival documents. The date range of the documents is from February 2003 through June 2008.
[…]
On December 29, 2015, the Department advised OIG that 12 of the 19 documents contain national security information classified at the Secret or Confidential levels based on a review by 9 Department bureaus and offices. Two of these documents were emails sent to Secretary Powell’s personal email account; the remaining were documents transmitted to personal or unclassified accounts belonging to a member of Secretary Rice’s immediate staff and another senior Department official.
[…]
State’s official response:  Office of the Executive Secretariat (S/ES) staff have removed from the Department’s unclassified network all of the email material identified as classified and placed it in secure storage. Additionally, retired electronic records provided to the Bureau of Administration that were initially stored in an unclassified system have b~enmoved to the appropriate classified system. With regard to paper records relating to former Secretaries Powell and Rice, the Department does not believe any action is warranted because these materials are currently stored in a facility certified to house classified Department record~up to the SECRET level.

Read the memo exchange here:

 

Related post:

Classified Material Discovered in Unclassified Archival Material | Posted On: March 04, 2016 Report Date: March 2016 | Report Number: ESP-16-02

 

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