June 30, 2017

Van Hollen, Sullivan Convene Senate Foreign Service Caucus

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) this week were joined by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon for the inaugural meeting of the Senate Foreign Service Caucus. Other members attending the meeting included Senators Hatch (R-UT), Murphy (D-CT), Risch (R-ID), and Cortez-Masto (D-NV).

"As the son of a Foreign Service Officer, I know firsthand the immense impact our diplomats have on furthering American security, interests, and values abroad," saidSenator Van Hollen. "This bipartisan caucus is the first of its kind to support our Foreign Service and bolster dialogue between the State Department and Congress. We are committed to helping the State Department promote our country's core interests and values abroad - democracy, human rights, liberty, and security. Thanks to my co-chair Senator Sullivan, our Senate colleagues, and Under Secretary Shannon for joining us and making our first meeting such a success."

"Having worked with many foreign service officers over the years, I know they are every bit as patriotic and service-oriented as members of our military, often facing similar challenges in dangerous corners of the globe," saidSenator Sullivan. "Each of the five branches of the military today have congressional caucuses giving service leaders the opportunity to build relationships with senators and share candidly about their servicemembers' needs. No such caucus has existed for the foreign service - until now. Senator Van Hollen and I are excited to initiate this new forum that will help the State Department work in tandem with Congress and better support the mission of our brave foreign service officers. I want to thank UnderSecretary Shannon for making the launch of this new caucus a success."

Senators Sullivan and Van Hollen announced the formation of the caucus in May as a bipartisan forum for members to discuss the challenges facing those who serve in the U.S. Foreign Service around the world, and collaborate and develop policy recommendations on how they can best support them and the U.S. diplomatic mission abroad.