State Department: Enrollment of US diplomats is up this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department says the number of diplomats enrolling in its training academy is on the rise, signaling a possible turnaround for an agency demoralized by budget cuts and restructuring under former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

During the 2018 fiscal year that ended in September, 546 diplomats enrolled in the Foreign Service Institute’s introductory A-100 class. The previous year’s enrollment was 473.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan says the higher enrollment numbers reflect investments in the department by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The department lost significant top talent under Tillerson, who was accused by critics of gutting the department. He was fired in March.

Since taking the helm, Pompeo has brought back some seasoned diplomats, but a number of key ambassadorships and senior positions remain vacant.

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