Sullivan, Van Hollen Celebrate 100 Years of the U.S. Foreign Service Ahead of Centennial Anniversary

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and , co-founders of the bipartisan Senate Foreign Service Caucus, honored the 100th anniversary of the United States Foreign Service, which will be observed on May 24, 2024. The institution as it is organized today was established through the Rogers Act of 1924, which consolidated and reorganized the existing Diplomatic and Consular Services into a single entity. Since then, the Foreign Service has led U.S. diplomatic efforts across the globe. Earlier this month, the Senate unanimously passed Senators Van Hollen and Sullivan’s resolution marking Foreign Service Day (May 3), recognizing the men and women who have served, or are presently serving, in the U.S. Foreign Service, and honoring the members who have given their lives in the line of duty.

“America’s Foreign Service officers are tasked with promoting America’s interests, strengthening national security, and assisting U.S. citizens in the far corners of the globe,” Senator Sullivan said. “For 100 years, the Foreign Service has served a critical role in leading American diplomacy. Today, we salute the courageous, dedicated members of the United States Foreign Service and reaffirm our commitment to providing this crucial diplomatic corps with the support they need and deserve.”

“On the centennial anniversary of the Foreign Service, we celebrate all the past and present members of our diplomatic corps who have represented the United States with honor abroad. These men and women play a critical role on the front lines of our diplomatic missions – sometimes at great personal risk and often with little fanfare – protecting and promoting America’s global interests. Not only are their efforts vital to our diplomacy – they also provide critical support to Americans in need of assistance. We’re committed to supporting our Foreign Service members and their families, which is why we’ve fought to pass legislation like our bipartisan Foreign Service Families Act. As we look ahead to the next 100 years, we reaffirm this commitment and our gratitude for the efforts of these public servants as they continue working to strengthen our standing on the world stage,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“Americans join the Foreign Service with a sense of duty to their country and a desire to contribute to America’s continued security and prosperity,” said Tom Yazdgerdi, president of the American Foreign Service Association. “As we look to the future, it's crucial that we continue to support and invest in these dedicated men and women. Their work may not always be known or make headlines, but it’s foundational to building partnerships that help protect Americans overseas, safeguard our interests, promote our values, and foster international cooperation.”

The Foreign Service, comprised of nearly 16,000 U.S. personnel, plus more than 60,000 locally-engaged personnel who serve at nearly 300 embassies and consulates overseas, are employees of the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Commerce, the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, and the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

In 2017, Senators Van Hollen and Sullivan formed the Foreign Service Caucus to provide a bipartisan platform for addressing the challenges facing those who serve in the U.S. Foreign Service around the world and to develop policy solutions to support the U.S. diplomatic mission abroad. As part of their leadership of this Caucus, in the previous Congress the Senators worked to pass their Foreign Service Families Act, which became law through the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Senators’ legislation ensures that the Foreign Service is able to attract and retain a world-class diplomatic corps by providing expanded career options and support to eligible family members – similar to those provided to military families.

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