By Daniele Schoenauer and Debra Higgins
Locally Employed (LE) staff/Foreign Service Nationals (FSN) around the world dedicate their careers to helping the Department of State fulfill its U.S. foreign policy goals. Every day, posts rely on the expertise, passion, and hard work of LE staff. Overseas posts, Department employees, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recognized the work and commitment of the 56,000 LE staff, who are an integral part of the Department’s workforce, on the inaugural LE Staff/FSN Recognition Day, Nov. 21. The Department joined USAID, Foreign Commercial Service, Foreign Agricultural Service, and all other agency partners to honor LE staff and FSNs for the work they do.
Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Human Resources Carol Z. Perez set the tone during her speech to the recipients of the FSN of the Year awards at the DACOR Bacon House in Washington, D.C., “You inspire us with your selfless acts of bravery, your integrity, and your commitment and loyalty to your job, and to the U.S. government.”
Globally, chiefs of Mission echoed Perez’s high praise for LE staff and arranged unique events to celebrate them. Food trucks, dancing, live music, and karaoke were front and center at posts’ spirited celebrations of this first-ever occasion.
LE Staff/FSN Recognition Day is a way to recognize LE staff/FSNs for their tireless efforts, often in stressful and demanding situations. LE staff/FSNs are the foundation of every Mission, and starting in 2020, LE Staff/FSN Recognition Day will be celebrated annually on the second Wednesday of November.
Additional photos from the celebrations can be viewed on the Bureau of Human Resources, Office of Overseas Employment intranet SharePoint site.
Daniele Schoenauer is a human resources officer in the Bureau of Human Resources, Office of Overseas Employment. Debra Higgins is a human resources specialist in the Bureau of Human Resources, Office of Overseas Employment.