Bureau of Resource Management
February 24, 2012

Performance Management Training: The Department of State continues to innovate to improve employee performance management training throughout the Department. With "Foreign Service Performance Management and Evaluation" going live online, the Department has now completed the third and final distance learning course designed to assist supervisory personnel at missions and bureaus to make more effective use of human resource performance management best practices. The other two courses, "Civil Service Performance Management and Evaluation" and "Locally Employed Staff Performance Management and Evaluation," debuted in July 2011 and October 2011, respectively. All three courses guide supervisors through human resource regulations and procedures as they pertain to completing performance appraisals and managing performance throughout the rating period. Good communication among supervisors and employees is the foundation of improved performance.

Greening Diplomacy Initiative: The Department of State, through the Greening Diplomacy Initiative (GDI), continues to take critical steps to advance more environmentally friendly and sustainable operations. Among these in FY 2011 were the completion of the Department's domestic Green House Gas Inventory and the signing of an Energy Savings Agreement, which will enable the Department to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions domestically through new renewable wind and solar energy sources by 30-35 percent (as compared to FY 2008) by December 2012, surpassing the previously stated goal of 20 percent by 2020. The Department continues to pursue reductions to resource demands through the latest advances in energy and resource efficient design. Results of this focus are evidenced by the numerous third-party recognitions for Department facilities' performance. In FY 2011, U.S. Embassy Ulaanbaatar was selected as the first recipient of the GDI award from among 130 offices and posts submitting greening success stories, evidence of the widespread commitment to GDI. The new U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso was awarded the Silver level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Certification. This is the fifth LEED-certified U.S. diplomatic mission, joining five domestic LEED buildings and forty more in the pipeline for certification. A 100 kW peak photovoltaic array began generating clean, renewable electricity for the U.S. Embassy in Athens. The Department also was recognized with the 2011 GreenGov Presidential Award for Building the Future for incorporating sustainable practices and principles into all aspects of operations of Building 84, the only LEED Platinum certified building in the Department's worldwide facilities portfolio, at the Department's Charleston, South Carolina Regional Center. In addition, six domestic facilities received Green Building Initiative certification for sustainable operations. Among the Department's other green accomplishments during FY 2011 are the identification of products that meet Greenguard certified standards for the Overseas Office Furniture Program; attainment of the petroleum reduction goal; continuation of green awareness campaigns and events; and promulgation of electronic fora for the exchange of best green practices among the worldwide diplomatic community. The Department has shifted to a predominantly networked-based printing environment to reduce energy, equipment, supply and service costs, as well as to allow for new, more energy efficient print devices that use fewer toxic chemicals. Through this policy, the Department can reduce both its print-related power consumption and paper costs. The Department completed the deployment of the Nightwatchman application worldwide to over 87,000 computers, which automatically shuts down computers in the evening and powers them up for updates and prior to opening of business. The Department remains dedicated to greening its vehicle fleet through acquisition of alternative fuel vehicles, including hybrid electric vehicles. The Department conducted its first Greening Action Inventory survey - over 200 posts and 20 bureaus around the world reported their greening activities. The Survey is a first step to provide missions and bureaus feedback on their environmental and sustainability performance. These and other greening initiatives set the Department well on its way to meeting the goals of Executive Order 13514 and the Secretary's GDI vision.