“The organizational structure, incentives, cultures, and cadres which characterized State 25 years ago are little changed and must be modernized. Operational modes and standards need to reflect the realities of twenty-first century global competition. For that to occur, an across the board “culture of excellence” will need to replace the “culture of equity” that has, among other things, allowed functional illiteracy and poor performance to become too broadly accepted as a norm among many categories of State’s employees.”
Stephanie Kinney Needed: A Unitary Diplomatic Service of the United States of America American Diplomacy │ January 2009
This is not pretty but I think it's a "must-read." Kinney is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer with extensive service at embassies in Europe and Latin America and was Deputy Coordinator for Counterterrorism in the State Department. Since retirement, she has worked as a consultant on change management. She holds MA degrees from the National Defense University and Harvard, and a BA from Vassar. She also authored Developing Diplomats for 2010: If Not Now, When?