302. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Richardson) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Administration (Rimestad) and all Assistant Secretaries and Bureau Chiefs1


  • Personnel Policy

This Administration is committed to a thorough reexamination of the foreign affairs establishment with a view toward a more effective use of the unique human resources found there. We desire to examine the size, shape, functions and purposes of the career services, to review the processes for selection, promotion and assignment of personnel, and to develop comprehensive policy objectives for our personnel system. We hope to build upon the initiatives in these directions already undertaken by the Department and to undertake long-range planning efforts designed to achieve these objectives. In this undertakings we intend to seek the participation of all those affected, directly or indirectly.

As first steps, we wish, among other things, to:

Identify younger officers of exceptional ability from within the career service and to move these officers into positions of higher responsibility.
Promote an even greater interchange of talent among geographic and functional areas of expertise within the Department.
Expand interchange among the several foreign affairs agencies, State, AID, USIA, ACDA and the Peace Corps.
Increase the opportunities for career officers to move temporarily into other disciplines—business, universities, foundations and the like— without loss of career contact with the foreign service system.
Bring into the Department selected individuals of exceptional talent from outside the career system.

I hope to meet with you along with members of my staff and representatives of the personnel system in the near future to discuss these and related matters. Included in your preparation for this discussion should be consideration of the following points:

The requirements for improvement in country, regional and functional expertise in your bureau or area, i.e., an overall projection of your personnel needs in view of the above objectives.
The problems, if any, from your point of view in carrying out the above objectives.
Your recommendations as to how best to implement each of the above objectives in your bureau or area.

Working together, with the Deputy Under Secretary for Administration coordinating the process, we can, I feel sure, achieve these objectives in a balanced and orderly fashion.2

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, PER 1. No classification marking.
  2. On May 21, 1970, Richardson forwarded to Haldeman a statement entitled “Reform at the Department of State: A Progress Report” that Haldeman had requested. According to the report, among the steps initiated by the Nixon administration were the following: 1) “career personnel have been encouraged to participate in exchange programs with business, foundations, the academic world, [and] Congressional committee staffs”; 2) “over 400 career officers have been detailed to other Federal agencies to broaden their managerial experience”; 3) steps have been taken “to elevate younger officers of exceptional ability into positions of higher responsibility”; 4) a greater interchange of talent is being promoted among geographic and functional areas of the Department”; and 5) “vigorous new men” have been introduced into policy-making positions, including “fifty-five new noncareer employees in executive and senior level positions,” 32 new noncareer ambassadors, and 51 new career ambassadors. (Ibid., ORG 2)