June 26, 2017


Washington Embassy Module


The purpose of this personal coaching module is to prepare foreign diplomats to be successful in Washington by equipping them with specific knowledge and skills. The module consists of four 90-minute one-on-one sessions. It explores and explains all relevant aspects of U.S. policy and government operations, national and state politics, and Washington’s innerworkings and public sphere. The carefully designed curriculum ensures that trainees gain specific and usable understanding and insight that can help them fulfill their duties effectively. The module addresses the most pressing challenges of embassy work and gives diplomats the tools to tackle them.


🌐 Session 1: The U.S. Government & the Interagency Process

    ● Foreign-policy and the federal government;

    ● Overview of the national security structures of the U.S. government;

    ● The coordinating role of the National Security Council;

    ● Interagency policy and implementation processes;

    ● Information sources and networking in Washington;

    ● How to read and use the U.S. government’s Plum Book;

    ● Political appointee-civil servant relations and their impact on deliberations and results;

    ● Exercise: Navigating the interagency to resolve a specific embassy problem.


🌐 Session 2: Diplomacy, State Department & USAID

    ● Current state and objectives of U.S. diplomacy;

    ● Structure and operations of the State Department in Washington and around the world;

    ● USAID and its role in U.S. foreign policy;

    ● Cultural and bureaucratic specificities and protocol matters;

    ● The State Department personnel system;

    ● Timely access to appropriate officials;

    ● The State Department’s daily interaction with American embassies abroad;

    ● The State Department’s expectations of foreign embassies;

    ● Exercise: Delivering a demarche and accompanying activities to secure U.S. support for a new bilateral or regional initiative.


🌐 Session 3: National & State Politics

    ● Congress’ role in American foreign policy and oversight of the executive branch;

    ● Congressional structures related to the conduct of foreign relations;

    ● Maintaining relationships with country-specific caucuses;

    ● Understanding access to members and staffers;

    ● The impact of domestic politics and partisanship on U.S. global leadership;

    ● The U.S. budgeting process (appropriation and authorization);

    ● The role of the U.S. judicial branch in foreign relations;

    ● Understanding and navigating state and local governments;

    ● Outreach to and engagement with Americans at the state and local levels;

    ● Exercise: Managing the fallout from a crime committed by a foreign diplomat.


🌐 Session 4: Media, Think Tanks & NGOs

    ● Overview of the media environment in Washington;

    ● Insight into how the press covers foreign affairs and the diplomatic community;

    ● The media’s relationship with the American government and its impact on U.S. policy;

    ● Securing media coverage of foreign officials visiting the United States;

    ● Using social media to achieve embassy objectives;

    ● Overview of the think-tank landscape in Washington and other major cities;

    ● Ways for embassies to make use of these institutions, their work and experts;

    ● The role of NGOs in U.S. foreign policy;

    ● Exercise: Partnering with a think tank on a project of mutual interest.