The Ambassadors-as-CEOs Model

On Dec 15, the State Department unveiled its first ever Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review. The QDDR, modeled on the Defense Department’s Quadrennial Defense Review, was conceived by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as a broad policy and organizational review—designed to bolster diplomacy and development efforts and to better align policy, strategy, authorities, and resources in foreign affairs.

Most of the media reaction has understandably focused on a few big-ticket items. These include the call to add 5,500 new foreign service and civil service personnel in order to "reassert the State Department’s role as the primary agent of Washington overseas"; an increased emphasis on "smart power"; and a wholesale shift by the State Department toward preventing global crises (i.e., by asking foreign service officers taking a much more explicit role in directing programs such as post-conflict reconstruction and early warning systems).

This article was originally published in Foreign Policy.