High-ranking U.S. official visits Dillard in search of workers

Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 3:38 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman addressed students at Dillard University on April 11, highlighting opportunities and the importance of diversity in the State Department.

Sherman’s visit was part of the Biden administration’s efforts to promote a more inclusive workforce that accurately reflects America while representing the country overseas. She believes that partnerships with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are crucial in achieving this goal.

“We should represent our country. We should have a diverse workforce that is part of everybody and so a partnership with HBCUs is very fundamental,” she said.

Sherman went on to discuss various employment opportunities available at the State Department, including positions at passport offices and in the traditional foreign service. She noted the high demand for passports and stressed the importance of traveling to understand how the rest of the world operates

“Tremendous demand for passports, people are traveling again. It’s important because then we see how the rest of the world is operating [and] what it means for our own interests and our own country. We have people who are foreign service officers who spend their entire careers as diplomats for our country, working aboard to represent American interests,” said Sherman.

Sherman also emphasized the need for scientists in the State Department, particularly in areas such as global health, food security, energy security, economics, and nuclear weapons.

During the event, Sherman expressed her concerns regarding Russia’s detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich and called for his release.

“Secretary Blinken has just designated Evan as wrongfully detained, that means we’ll bring a certain amount of resources to bear to try to get him home as soon as possible. But I think that the Russians think that they’ve got someone of great value, there are other Americans who are being wrongfully detained, Paul Whelan in Russia as well and we will continue to bring all Americans home,” said Sherman.

In addition, Sherman expressed her concerns about China’s military drills near Taiwan, emphasizing the importance of maintaining peace in the Taiwan Strait between mainland China and Taiwan.

Students at Dillard University asked Sherman about TikTok, and she responded by stating that the federal government has prohibited its employees from using TikTok on their work cellphones due to concerns about surveillance by the Chinese government.

“Every individual will have to make a decision for themselves,” said Sherman.

She mentioned that the U.S. government is in discussions with TikTok to establish requirements to ensure the privacy and security of Americans’ data. However, she admitted that the matter is not yet resolved and advised her own family not to use TikTok.

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