Diplomatic Programs is the principal operating account of the U.S. Department of State
What does it buy?
Diplomatic Programs provides funding for the people, infrastructure, security, and programs that facilitate productive and peaceful U.S. relations with foreign governments and international organizations.
Why is it important?
Funds provide the backbone of American diplomacy overseas.
Funds support 38 bureaus and offices and 275 U.S. embassies, consulates, and other diplomatic posts across 195 countries. The offices and staff funded through this account provide services to U.S. citizens living, working, studying, and traveling abroad—including those who are arrested and imprisoned in foreign countries or otherwise need assistance overseas.
Funds provide security for diplomatic personnel, overseas diplomatic missions, information, residences, and domestic facilities.
Diplomatic Programs funds the salaries of over 24,000 domestic and overseas State Department employees, training services at the Foreign Service Institute, the Bureau of Human Resources’ operating costs, and global public affairs.
Funds support programs carried out by Department of State regional bureaus—which are responsible for the conduct and implementation of U.S. foreign policy through bilateral and multilateral engagements.
Funds support the Department’s ability to communicate on America’s behalf to global audiences in a complex digital, technological, and media landscape.
Effective diplomacy is essential to advancing U.S. foreign policy and economic interests overseas.
Why should Americans care?
The Department of State advances the interests of the American people, their safety, and economic prosperity worldwide.
COVID-19 constricted State Department activities as broad travel restrictions went into effect. At the same time, rapidly shifting government responses and border closures elevated the importance of timely, accurate information and unprecedented efforts to bring American citizens home.
What more could be done?
Additional funding could address the growing Civil Service and Foreign Service vacancy rates. Addressing the hiring backlog would ensure that the Department could provide sufficient management and oversight of its operations and programs.
Funding levels may not accurately reflect those in the appropriations bills and/or reports due to rounding.