U.S. mayors and governors are increasingly demonstrating their leadership in addressing transnational challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, trade, migration, and the intersection of these issues with racial inequities. To accelerate progress on these issues, the Biden-Harris administration is repositioning the U.S. to engage more proactively in global cooperation and multilateral efforts. To be successful, this will require rebuilding the credibility of U.S. global leadership and revitalizing a depleted diplomatic corps at the State Department.
As part of the Blueprints for American Renewal & Prosperity, Brookings Global scholars released a brief describing how establishing an office of subnational diplomacy within the State Department would enable the U.S. government to leverage the global leadership and experience of mayors and governors, strengthen the State Department and revitalize its diplomatic corps, and improve understanding of the positive impact that U.S. foreign policy can have on local communities. The administration has an opportunity to better connect its vision of a 21st-century foreign policy to American renewal and prosperity through a more effective partnership between cities, states, and the federal government.
On May 27, the Center for Sustainable Development at Brookings hosted two panels of experts to examine how the United States can harness subnational diplomacy in service of American influence abroad and prosperity at home.