Actress Cristela Alonzo speaks with a virtual audience during a HECFAA-sponsored panel event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Oct. 20. Photo by Camelia Valldejuly

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

By Camelia Valldejuly and Isabel Romero Founded in 1982, the Hispanic Employee Council of Foreign Affairs Agencies (HECFAA) is a non-profit organization and Department of State employee affinity group that works to promote the recruitment,...
Two ships engage in a ship-to-ship (STS) bunker transfer—the transfer of cargo between ships at sea. While STS transfers can be conducted for legitimate purposes, these transfers—especially at night or in areas determined to be high-risk for sanctions evasion or other illicit activity—are frequently used to evade sanctions. (Note: this photo is not an example of a specific sanctions evasion instance). Photo by Erkut-Acar

Global Maritime Advisory aims to create compliance standards across industry

By Kacie E. Yearout Following several months of drafting, incorporating private sector feedback and interagency contributions, the Department of State published the Global Maritime Advisory in May, which addressed the illicit shipping practices Iran, Syria,...
Embassy Panama’s Information Management Specialist David Houston is shown with the canine/equine candidates in a blockchain election simulation, Oct. 1. Photo by Meredith S. Hiemstra

Using blockchains for enhanced voting and electoral systems

By David Houston Election results should be reliable and transparent, while voting should be user friendly and encourage participation. This is in keeping with the highest principles of democracy and relates directly to the Department...
U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey R. Pyatt (third from right) and U.S Ambassador to Bulgaria Herro Mustafa (third from left) meet with women energy experts at the chief of mission residence in Athens. State Department Photo

Event encourages increased roles for women in Southeast Europe’s energy sector

By Steven Tagle Greece and Bulgaria signed an agreement that finalized a natural gas transmission and storage system operator’s—Bulgartransgaz—participation in the Alexandroupoli Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU), Aug. 24. FSRU is a U.S.-supported project that...
From left: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo receives a demonstration of the capabilities of the Bureau of Intelligence and Research’s (INR) new digital dissemination platform, Tempo, from INR Assistant Secretary Ellen E. McCarthy, and INR Chief Information Officer and Technology and Innovation Office Director, Geoff Fowler, Sept. 22. State Department photo

INR celebrates 75th anniversary

By Sarath Ganji The Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) is the nation’s oldest civilian intelligence agency—one with a legacy of innovation. That legacy began in 1945 when President Harry S. Truman transferred the scholarly...
While serving as deputy chief of mission for the Libya External Office in 2019, Natalie A. Baker visited Cape Angela on the Tunisian Coast. Cape Angela is considered the northernmost point in Africa. Photo by Natalie A. Baker

NEA takes on North Africa

By Alexandra Jameson The Department of State’s newest office covers a region stretching from the Atlantic Ocean, across the Sahara Desert, and along the Mediterranean more than 5,000 miles to the Red Sea. In July,...
QSI International School of Dushanbe in Tajikistan used a grant from the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations and the Bureau of Administrations’ Office of Overseas Schools to purchase and install new plexiglass dividers in their tech labs and classrooms to provide safe areas for students to work. Photo by Liz Madlinger

Mitigating impacts of pandemic at international schools

By Erica Renew, Michelle Adams, and Beatrice Cameron
From left: Ambassador David Reimer signs the deed of sale for the new embassy compound site with Notary Bernard d’Hotman de Villiers (back), Hector Espitalier-Noël and Thierry Rey, both of whom represented the land seller—Moka City Limited (also known as ENL). Photo courtesy of Embassy Port Louis

OBO announces new embassy compound in Port Louis

By Nicholas Von Mertens In August, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO) purchased an 11-acre property in Mauritius to build a new embassy in Port Louis. The new multi-building compound will be located in...

In The News