May 06, 2022

Van Hollen, Sullivan Recognize U.S. Foreign Service Day

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), co-founders of the bipartisan Senate Foreign Service Caucus, announced they will introduce a resolution celebrating May 6, 2022, as “Foreign Service Day.” The day recognizes the men and women who have served, or are presently serving, in the Foreign Service of the United States and honors the members of the Foreign Service who have given their lives in the line of duty. Foreign Service Day has been celebrated on the first Friday in May for generations. 2022 marks 98 years since the establishment of the Foreign Service in 1924.

Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) also co-sponsored the resolution.

This year’s “Foreign Service Day” also commemorates six months since the Foreign Service Families Act passed in the Senate. The bill—authored by Senators Van Hollen and Sullivan—was signed into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act on December 27, 2021. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.) are also original cosponsors of the Foreign Service Families Act.

The Foreign Service, comprising 16,000 U.S. personnel, plus 75,000 locally-engaged personnel who serve at embassies and consulates overseas, are members of the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Commerce, the Foreign Agricultural Service, the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, and the U.S. Agency for Global Media. 

“Our Foreign Service members commit themselves to protect and promote America’s interests – often at great personal risk and sacrifice. Their dedication is vital to maintaining and advancing American diplomacy around the world. That’s why I’m honored to recognize these men and women, their families, and their immense contributions to our nation in celebration of Foreign Service Day today. I’m proud to have bolstered our Foreign Service members through the passage of our bipartisan Foreign Service Families Act – included in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act. Our Foreign Service members are true patriots, and I will always have their backs,” said Senator Van Hollen. 

“For 98 years, the men and women of the Foreign Service have promoted America’s interests, strengthened our national security, and assisted U.S. citizens abroad,” Senator Sullivan said. “Today, my colleagues and I salute the hard-working members of the U.S. Foreign Service and reaffirm our commitment to providing this crucial diplomatic corps with the support they need and deserve.”

“Each year on the first Friday in May, we commemorate Foreign Service Day to honor those who gave their lives in service to their nation, defending the security, prosperity, and fundamental values of the United States,” said Ambassador Eric Rubin, president of AFSA. “Today, democracy, human rights, individual freedom, and the rule of law are under siege around the world, and U.S. security and economic interests are under threat. Members of the Foreign Service remain ready to defend them, to take necessary risks and accept the hardships that come with serving as the first line of defense for our nation. I thank our caucus co-chairs for their commemoration of this day and the resolution recognizing the important work of the Foreign Service.”