It’s been one year since I joined the State Department’s fantastic and diverse leadership team under Secretary Blinken. This first year, I’ve visited 19 countries, some of them more than once. This would never have happened without the help of every person who made my trips possible, from our Ambassadors to Diplomatic Security officers to drivers and local staff.
We’ve achieved some great successes in the last year. And my remarkable colleagues are the reason why. Here are some highlights:
Last June, I was honored to preside over the Progress flag raising ceremony at the Department’s headquarters. This was the first time the Progress Flag has flown here – sending an important message to the world that the United States is a country that values diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As Secretary Blinken has said, public diplomacy is central to everything we’re trying to achieve as a Department. With the help of our teams at embassies around the world, I make sure to meet with young people, women, LGBTQI+ activists, and civil society leaders whenever I go abroad.
We have reinvigorated our relationships with Allies and partners. Those efforts have been critical to enabling the strong, united international response to Putin’s war against Ukraine.
And thanks to an amazing team effort across the Department, we set a land-speed bureaucratic record in standing up the new Cyberspace and Digital Policy bureau: Less than six months from Secretary Blinken announcing his proposal, to Congress approving it, to literally cutting the ribbon.
I could go on and on—because to paraphrase my good friend, former Senator Barbara Mikulski, behind every “me” there’s a whole lot of “we.” As I start my second year as Deputy Secretary of State, it is an honor and a privilege to call everyone at the Department my colleagues. Thank you all for giving me the opportunity.
About the Author: Wendy Sherman is the Deputy Secretary of State at the U.S. Department of State.