The Obama administration has announced steps to significantly augment U.S. civilian presence abroad. The president’s budget proposal for fiscal 2011, released Feb. 1, calls for 410 hires at the State Department and another 200 at the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Congress is expected to hold budget hearings in the coming weeks, and it may significantly alter the White House proposal. Passage is not expected until later this year; the fiscal year starts in October.
The president’s funding request is in line with recent personnel increases at USAID and the State Department, and Obama’s aim to hire 1,600 foreign service officers by 2014, a deadline the administration has stretched due to exigent spending concerns, according to Deputy Secretary of State Jacob “Jack” Lew, who oversees resource issues at the State Department.
The proposed hires would be based overseas and within the United States. The positions would range from human resources and language trainers to Afghanistan program officers and cybersecurity professionals. Almost 30 of these positions would focus on public diplomacy, with another 48 dedicated to security.
Josh joined Devex's Washington office in early 2010 as an international development correspondent covering U.S. aid reform, the DC development scene and Latin America. He previously served as a marketing communications coordinator for TechnoServe, a news production specialist for the Associated Press and a news desk assistant for the PBS NewsHour. He has reported for publications in Caracas, Chicago, Madrid, New Delhi, Philadelphia and Washington, and holds a bachelor's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.