Diplomacy Is Our Mission

Advancing American national security, economic prosperity, and global leadership

Discover how our nation’s diplomats protect the American people and advance security, prosperity, democracy, and development to benefit our country. 

SECURITY

Diplomacy helps make our country—and the world—a safer place.

Every day, diplomats around the world work to strengthen America’s peaceful relations with other countries. They build strategic partnerships, coalitions, and alliances, and collaborate with international organizations—including the United Nations—to advance international peace and stability. 

black and white photographs of nerdy and professional diplomats speaking in front of microphones

Case Study: Argo and the Canadian Six

We can attribute many of our peaceful, mutually beneficial relationships with countries around the world to feats of American diplomacy. In some cases however, diplomacy breaks down, threatening U.S. security, such as in the events leading with the Iran Hostage Crisis. Learn about this pivotal moment in history, affecting our relationship with Iran to this day.

PROSPERITY

Diplomacy helps expand America’s economy, and creates jobs at home and abroad.

In today’s global economy, Americans are more closely connected to other countries than ever before. American diplomats strengthen our economic ties with other countries, cultivating lasting partnerships that can advance America’s interests. 

Case Study: Japan’s First Embassy

American diplomats promote prosperity in the United States and around the world, by negotiating trade deals, encouraging foreign investment, and working to protect intellectual property. Some trade relationships fostered in the past endure today and are stronger than ever. Learn about one case in the 1850s in which Americans used “Gunboat Diplomacy” to negotiate a trade agreement between the United States and Japan.

DEMOCRACY

American diplomacy helps foster and protect democratic values abroad, creating a more secure, stable, and prosperous world. 

Democracy is more than a political system. It is a set of fundamental principles—including liberty, equality, human rights, and justice—that apply to all people. Everywhere American diplomats go, they support these principles, even in countries that may not share our values.

old photo of La Amistad ship

Courtesy of New Haven Museum

Case Study: Mutiny on the Amistad

Advancing democracy throughout the world has sometimes forced the United States to examine its own commitment to democratic ideals in the context of international law. One historic example was led by former President of the United States John Quincy Adams. Read more about international slavery and American diplomacy in the nineteeth century.

DEVELOPMENT

Diplomacy helps developing nations become strong and stable partners to the U.S.

Poverty and political instability create a dangerous environment that can lead to terrorism and war. By helping countries expand their economies and improve the well-being of their citizens, American diplomats strengthen our national security while creating economic opportunities at home and abroad. 

Rescue Worker with Dog in rubble

Photo by Heather Janssen, KEVN Black Hills FOX News

Case Study: Natural Disaster Assistance in Nepal

The United States often provides immediate expert assistance after natural disasters, when people are in need of food, shelter, and medical supplies. After the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, firefighters from the Los Angeles County Fire Department partnered with the U.S. Agency for International Development to quickly deploy for search-and-rescue operations.

side angle of diplomacy museum in summer

Diplomacy Is Our Mission, the Museum’s Preview Exhibit

Diplomacy Is Our Mission exhibit tells the often surprising story of how diplomacy has shaped our nation. Diplomacy Is Our Mission is about a shared commitment to service. It is about the people who have dedicated their lives to protect and strengthen our country by pursuing our national interests of security, prosperity, democracy and development abroad. From the founding of our nation to the global challenges of today, our diplomats and staff have built beneficial bridges of cooperation and understanding around the world.  

Entry is free, but timed passes are required.