In November 2020, two retired colleagues from the State Department, Ambassadors Marc Grossman and Marcie Ries, and I published a comprehensive report advocating the adoption of major reforms to strengthen the Foreign Service. Our Harvard Kennedy School report, “A U.S. Diplomatic Service for the 21st Century”, made ten recommendations to strengthen the Foreign Service—including a new Foreign Service Act to be passed by Congress, the creation of a 15 percent training float, an overhaul of an overly rigid personnel system, a new mid-level entry program, a diplomatic reserve corps, expanding the number of Ambassadorial and senior Washington appointments in favor of career professionals, and even a new name for the Foreign Service—the United States Diplomatic Service. Much of my testimony is based on the findings of this report.


Burns, Nicholas. "Leading by Action: The Fierce Urgency for Diversity and Inclusion in the Foreign Policy Workforce." Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs, U.S. Hou, March 25, 2021.