The Secretary’s Global Town Hall for Locally Employed (LE) Staff
Monday, March 27 @ 8:30 A.M. – 9:30 A.M. (ET)
Please note, this virtual town hall is accessible from any device on any computer system including DIN and home internet. Open Net is not required to join the town hall.
** Some OpenNet users may experience difficulty accessing the chat from their workstations. You may switch to a DIN or home internet computer, or if OpenNet is the only available option, access the player and chat via the following link: https://video.ibm.com/channel/52fwFK44eHe
About the Event:
Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken invites all Locally Employed Staff to join him for a town hall question-and-answer session on Monday, March 27, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. ET. Locally Employed Staff are the backbone of our missions, without whom American diplomacy could not succeed. The Secretary, joined by Director General Marica S. Bernicat and Locally Employed Staff Advocacy Council (LESAC) members, look forward to discussing global issues impacting our local colleagues.
Antony J. Blinken is the 71st U.S. Secretary of State.
He was nominated by President Biden on November 23, 2020; confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 26, 2021; and sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris the following day.
Over three decades and three presidential administrations, Mr. Blinken has helped shape U.S. foreign policy to ensure it protects U.S. interests and delivers results for the American people. He served as deputy secretary of state for President Barack Obama from 2015 to 2017, and before that, as President Obama’s principal deputy national security advisor. In that role, Mr. Blinken chaired the interagency deputies committee, the main forum for hammering out the administration’s foreign policy.
During the first term of the Obama Administration, Mr. Blinken was national security advisor to then-Vice President Joe Biden. This was the continuation of a long professional relationship that stretched back to 2002, when Mr. Blinken began his six-year stint as Democratic staff director for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Then-Senator Biden was the chair of that committee from 2001 to 2003 and 2007 to 2009.
During the Clinton Administration, Mr. Blinken served as a member of the National Security Council staff, including two years as the senior director for European affairs, the president’s principal advisor on the countries of Europe, the European Union, and NATO. He also spent four years as President Clinton’s chief foreign policy speechwriter, and he led the NSC’s strategic planning team.
Mr. Blinken’s public service began at the State Department. From 1993 to 1994, he was a special assistant in what was then called the Bureau of European and Canadian Affairs. Now he is proud to lead the department where he got his start in government nearly 30 years ago.
Outside of government, Mr. Blinken has worked in the private sector, civil society, and journalism. He was a founder of WestExec Advisors, an international strategic consulting firm focused on geopolitics and national security. He was a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies from 2001 and 2002. Before joining government, Mr. Blinken practiced law in New York and Paris. He was also a reporter for The New Republic magazine and is the author of Ally Versus Ally: America, Europe and the Siberian Pipeline Crisis (Praeger, 1987).
Mr. Blinken attended grade school and high school in Paris, where he received a French Baccalaureat degree with high honors. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia Law School. He and his wife Evan Ryan have two children.
Marcia Bernicat, a career member of the Foreign Service, Class of Minister-Counselor, is currently the Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Global Talent Management.
Ambassador Bernicat previously served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) and concurrently as the Senior Official for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment (E) from January-August 2021. She was a Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for E from 2020-2021 and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in OES from 2019-2020. She served as Ambassador to Bangladesh from 2015-2018 and to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau from 2008-2011. Ms. Bernicat previously served domestically in the Department of State as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Human Resources; Office Director for India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bhutan; Senior-Level Director and Career Development Officer in the Bureau of Human Resources; Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State John Whitehead and Watch Officer in the Department’s Operations Center. She was Deputy Chief of Mission in Bridgetown, Barbados and Lilongwe, Malawi and Principal Officer in Casablanca, Morocco. Ms. Bernicat’s other overseas assignments include New Delhi, India; Marseille, France and Bamako, Mali. She is the recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award and numerous other Department awards.
A native of New Jersey, Marcia Bernicat received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Lafayette College and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. In 2018 she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service by Lafayette College. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Ms. Bernicat worked for the Procter and Gamble Manufacturing Company. Her languages are French, Hindi and Russian.