Town Hall MeetingFebruary 04, 2009Hillary Rodham ClintonSecretary of StateUnder Secretary for Management Patrick KennedyDean Acheson AuditoriumWashington, DCUNDER SECRETARY KENNEDY: Good afternoon and welcome. It’s the responsibility of a management officer to be as efficient and as economical as possible, so just a few brief remarks. When asking a question, please identify yourself and your office for the benefit of others. In light of the limited time available we have today, please make your questions as concise as possible. And because, obviously, of the size limitations of this room and the nationwide and worldwide reach of the State Department, this program is being broadcast throughout this building and is being made available direct and via rebroadcast to our colleagues around the country and around the world. So in this case, please remember that, in effect, this is a public forum. (Laughter.) In order to open to the process as much as possible, we will also be taking questions via the internet from colleagues at State Department offices around the country and around the world.
And with those, it is now my distinct pleasure to present to you the Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Madame Secretary. (Applause.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Well, it is a real delight to be here with you for this town hall, and I want to welcome everyone inside this room and throughout the building, our country, and indeed, the world, because, as Pat said, we have a number of people who are joining us from posts overseas via the internet.
This town hall will, I hope, be the beginning of an ongoing conversation and part of an engaged and energetic, collaborative effort to make this the best-run, most effective State Department possible.
Now, some of you may know that I like to conduct listening tours. It’s something I started back in the 1980s when I was First Lady of Arkansas. I continued it in New York and around the country. I found that meeting with people and listening to their concerns in small groups and large was very important to me and gave me a lot of excellent ideas and constructive criticism.
So I like to think that this town hall will launch the latest of my listening tours. I want and need to hear from you, and that is not an idle invitation but an urgent request. We want to continue the dialogue we’re beginning today, and in fact, we’re creating a space on the Intranet website for you to generate your own ideas and engage in conversations with the whole Department.
I take the responsibility of managing our Department and obtaining the resources necessary to fulfill our missions very seriously. It’s why I appointed a new second position of Deputy Secretary to oversee the resources and management, working with many of you. And I’m very encouraged that both of our Deputies, Jim Steinberg and Jack Lew, have actually been confirmed. I can’t say that about anybody else yet.