On July 28, Ambassador Tom Shannon, former under secretary of state for political affairs, participated in a virtual briefing organized by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) to discuss a new report by SFRC Democratic Staff. The report is titled Diplomacy in Crisis: The Trump Administration’s Decimation of the State Department.
The report presents a comprehensive examination of the Trump Administration’s assault on US diplomacy. Through an analysis of the senior-level vacancies plaguing the Department, repeated nominee vetting failures, and attacks on career employees, the report recounts the impact on morale and resulting damage to US foreign policy, and issues a set of recommendations for rebuilding and retaining diplomatic expertise.
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), ranking member of the SFRC, opened the meeting with introductory remarks. Other panelists in the briefing included: Ambassador Barbara Stephenson, former American diplomat and former President of the American Foreign Service Association; Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, former Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation US Department of State; Elizabeth Shackelford, former member of the Foreign Service; and Margaret Taylor, former SFRC Chief Democratic Counsel, who moderated the discussion.
Tom Shannon serves as Co-Chair of the Dialogue’s Board of Directors.