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Four years of Trump ‘changing blood’ in the face of American diplomacy

Four years of Trump 'changing blood' in the face of American diplomacy 2

Four years of Trump ‘changing blood’ in the face of American diplomacy

Madeleine K. Albright, born in the Czech Republic and the first woman to become a US secretary of state, arrived at Ellis Island in New York in 1948. Colin L. Powell, the first black man to serve as secretary of state

When Hillary Clinton succeeded Rice, many US State Department officials joked that the position was only for white men, who had `monopolized` the job for more than 200 years.

Former US Secretary of State Colin L. Powell (right) at a meeting with former Canadian Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew in Washington, DC in August 2004.

But less than 4 years in the White House, President Donald Trump has brought everything back to the past.

At the Republican National Convention last month, a series of speakers attempted to portray Trump’s presidency as having ethnic diversity among its senior leadership.

Kelly Craft, a white woman, in 2019 took over the position of Nikki Haley, an Indian American and the only person of color to hold a senior position in the Trump administration’s national security ranks.

Research by the US Government Accountability Office released in January showed that the proportion of women and people of color in the State Department in 2018 decreased compared to the previous decade.

State Department data shows that 80 black diplomats were promoted in fiscal 2019, accounting for 1% of the total of more than 8,000.

Facing criticism because less than 25% of diplomatic staff are people of color, the US State Department on September 1 announced a 50% increase in career opportunities for candidates from minority communities to attract talent.

Of the 189 US ambassadors abroad, there are currently only 3 people of color and 4 people of Hispanic origin, according to the US Diplomatic Academy.

Many foreign policy officials acknowledged that even when Rice and Powell were in power, the majority of State Department employees were white, but added that they at least contributed to the image of a nation that was trying to ensure

`Obama and Bush at least tried to recruit and increase the diversity of their staff,` said Chris Richardson, an African-American foreign service officer under presidents Obama and Trump.

After taking office, Trump quickly removed senior African-American officials in the State Department.

After leaving Thomas-Greenfield’s position vacant for more than a year, Trump appointed Tibor P. Nagy Jr.

Ms. Thomas-Greenfield once told about meeting the Chinese delegation at the African Union meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2015. Sitting next to her was a Chinese-American diplomat, a member of the US delegation.

`I felt like we were showing strength when the Chinese delegation saw an African-American woman sitting next to a Chinese-American man and both were representing America,` she said.

Richardson, the African-American diplomat, said he enjoys telling foreign audiences about America’s `multifaceted` story, with its history of slavery, institutionalized racism, the civil rights movement and Martin

`I’ve wanted to be a representative for America since I was a kid. Going to different places and showing people what America’s promise is, that’s something very honorable to me,` Richardson said.

But after Trump was elected, Richardson said his mood was always heavy every time he stood before an audience in Madrid as a representative of the US embassy in Spain.

Not long after, Richardson resigned and returned to the US to work as an immigration lawyer.

Four years of Trump 'changing blood' in the face of American diplomacy

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley, from left to right, spoke at Mar-a-Lago, Florida in December/

Monde Muyangwa, director of the Africa program at the Wilson Center, recalls his days working at the Department of Defense during the Bush and Obama administrations.

`I spent nearly 14 years working at the Department of Defense, where I was in charge of African security issues and implemented many programs in African countries. In some countries, we don’t even need to speak

Muyangwa, born in Zambia, moved to the United States in 1995 and became an American citizen in 2004. She holds a doctorate in international relations and now runs a key part of the Washington Research Institute.

She said many African delegations often looked at her and wondered `how a woman of color like me rose to that senior position`.

Peter Wittig, former German ambassador to the US, once said America’s story about immigrants and their success serves as a `guideline` for Germany as the country struggles with a wave of immigration and refugees.

`Twenty years ago, our State Department had only white men and we saw America as something different, something to strive for,` he said.

Wittig hopes America can retake that admirable role on the international stage.

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