In addition to U.S. representatives who typically make up an embassy’s “Country Team,” the American official and quasi-official presence often includes a wide spectrum of Congressionally-funded agencies and other institutions. Although their personnel may not be sent on permanent overseas assignments, those cited here have significant international responsibilities involving frequent travel and other interaction with foreigners.
Centers for Disease Control
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is one of the 13 major operating components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC seeks to prevent and control infectious and chronic diseases, injuries, workplace hazards, disabilities and environmental health threats. It works with partners in the United States and throughout the world to monitor health, detect and investigate health problems, conduct research to enhance prevention, develop and advocate sound public health politics, implement prevention strategies, promote healthy behaviors, foster safe and healthful environments, and provide leadership and training.
Central Intelligence Agency
The mission of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is collecting, analyzing, evaluating and disseminating foreign intelligence to assist the President and senior U.S. Government policy makers in making decisions relating to national security. The CIA may also engage in covert action at the President’s direction and in accordance with applicable law. The CIA engages in research, development and deployment of high-leverage technology for intelligence purposes. As a separate agency, CIA serves as an independent source of analysis on topics of concern and also works closely with the other organizations in the “intelligence community” to ensure that the intelligence consumer receives the best intelligence possible. CIA officers are sent overseas to collect human intelligence in furtherance of the Agency’s mission.
Environmental Protection Agency
The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to protect human health and the environment. The Office of International Affairs (OIA) leads EPA’s efforts to address global environmental issues through connecting EPA initiatives to projects of other nations with shared interests. The goals of OIA are clean air, clean water, marine protection and sound management of toxic materials. Addressing these goals through bilateral and multilateral cooperative efforts, the OIA supports programs in such areas as trade, investment and finance, transboundary pollution control and children’s health.
Federal Aviation Administration
The mission of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world. It shares expertise and new technologies with international partners, with the goal of increasing the safety and capacity of the global aerospace system in an environmentally sound manner. The FAA works closely with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal both to provide technical assistance and training and to ensure that countries with airlines flying to the United States meet international standards. Regionally based FAA personnel are stationed at large embassies.
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress (LC) is the research arm of Congress and the world’s largest library. It carries out an active, global program of book and other materials acquisition in furtherance of its mission to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. With approximately two-thirds of the books and periodicals in its collections in languages other than English, the Library of Congress houses information on virtually every country, region, and national, ethnic and religious group. For many areas of the world, the Library’s collections are more accessible or better preserved than they are in the country of origin. LC acquisitions specialists are assigned to countries that produce a high volume of new publications.
National Endowment for Democracy
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress in 1983 to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts. Guided by the belief that freedom is a universal human aspiration that can be realized through the development of democratic institutions, procedures and values, it makes hundreds of grants each year to support prodemocracy groups in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the former Soviet Union.
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created to promote the progress of science; advance the national health, prosperity and welfare, and enhance national security. The agency funds about 20% of all federally supported basic research. NSF enables and encourages U.S. scientists, engineers and their institutions to take advantage of opportunities to enhance their research and education programs through international cooperation. NFS international activities fall into five general categories, including U.S. participation in global-scale projects and research networks, support for international facilities, links to other countries’ research programs, support for new scientists and engineers, and international science and engineering information.
The Peace Corps runs a volunteer-based program dedicated to addressing the needs of developing countries. Its goals are to help some 75 recipient countries meet their requirements for trained men and women, promote better understanding of Americans by the peoples served, and foster a better understanding of other peoples by the American Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs). PCVs commit to 27 months of dedicated work in a foreign country on a wide range of issues, including HIV/AIDS education and prevention and other health issues, agriculture, information technology, business development, environment, education, youth outreach and community development.
Voice of America
The Voice of America (VOA) is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG). VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational and cultural programming every week in 44 languages to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million. Besides direct radio broadcasting from transmitters in the United States and overseas, it also uses satellite TV and the Internet. VOA correspondents work from bureaus in major capitals, as well as from Washington, and frequently travel to cover stories whether the news takes them. The Broadcasting Board of Governors is responsible for all U.S. Government and government-sponsored (nonmilitary) international broadcasting, including by surrogate services that broadcast to countries lacking free and open information sources. The latter include Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Marti and TV Marti (to Cuba), Radio Free Asia and the Arabic-language Radio Sawa and Alhurra TV.