United States: Secretary of State Blinken Hails Foreign Service as “George Baileys of the World” at Centennial Celebration

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES – Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken praised the United States Foreign Service as indispensable to American diplomacy in a speech honoring the organization’s 100th anniversary.

Blinken likened Foreign Service officers to the protagonist of the classic film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey. “Just as the movie shows how different Bedford Falls would have been without George Bailey,” Blinken said, “it’s hard to imagine what the world would look like without the Foreign Service.”

The Secretary highlighted the professionalization of the Foreign Service with the Rogers Act of 1924, which established competitive exams, enhanced training, and merit-based promotions. He acknowledged the challenges of today’s world, including geopolitical competitors, climate change, and emerging technologies, and emphasized the importance of diplomacy in addressing them.

Blinken reaffirmed the State Department’s commitment to investing in the Foreign Service to meet these challenges. He praised Foreign Service officers for their expertise, resourcefulness, and dedication, and their ability to connect with people and bridge cultures.

The centennial celebration also recognized the contributions of Foreign Service spouses and families. Blinken acknowledged the sacrifices they make as their partners serve abroad.

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