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Code of Conduct
U.S. Department of State
Overseas Security Advisory Council

Code of Conduct

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Overseas Security Advisory Council
Bureau of Diplomatic Security
U.S. Department of State

Global Code of Conduct

The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) is a Federal Advisory Committee and operates under the parameters of the United States Department of State. The Department of State, like the private sector, is committed to ensuring OSAC events are free from unacceptable behavior, including unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature.

Since its inception, OSAC has been a conduit for the exchange of information between the public and private sectors on how to mitigate security issues abroad. This is accomplished through the hundreds of yearly events to include common interest council and country council meetings. Networking receptions are also an important mechanism for building professional contacts to address common security challenges worldwide. Trust, professionalism, and ethical conduct are keys to our success.

It is the expectation of the Department of State and the OSAC Council that every participant will respect OSAC’s core values and mission. We all have a responsibility to ensure our events and individual actions are appropriate, professional, and inclusive.

If OSAC determines that an allegation of unacceptable behavior is credible, it will take prompt and appropriate corrective action.

OSAC Event Code of Conduct

The Overseas Security Advisory Council is committed to providing a safe and welcoming experience for all participants as defined below.

All participants in OSAC events and meetings should feel safe and welcome regardless of:

  • Race;
  • Ethnicity;
  • National origin;
  • Disability;
  • Religion;
  • Sex, Gender, or gender identity or expression;
  • Sexual orientation;
  • Age;
  • Genetic Information; or
  • Any other personal characteristic

Expected Behavior

This Code of Conduct applies to all attendees and OSAC staff at any conference, forum, social event, or meeting-related event, including joint events with the International Security Foundation and International Security Management Association.

As such, OSAC expects that participants will:

  • Recognize that an event is a place for diversity of thought, organization, and individuals;
  • Be inclusive of others;
  • Be alert and report any discriminatory, harassing, aggressive, or exclusionary behavior immediately to the contacts set forth below; and
  • Respect the specific rules and policies of the event.

Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct that constitutes sexual harassment or discriminatory harassment;
  • Intimidating, threatening, abusive, derogatory, or demeaning conduct;
  • Inappropriate language or physical contact, including sexual assault and unwelcome sexual advances, groping, sexual pranks or jokes, and verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
  • Physical stalking or written, verbal, or other abuse;
  • Inappropriate display of nudity and/or sexual images or language in events, including presentations, or on personal devices visible to other participants; or
  • Failing to obey any rules or policies of the venue or OSAC.

Whether such behavior constitutes unacceptable behavior as defined above shall be determined by OSAC and its representatives, in their sole discretion. OSAC takes matters of such unacceptable behavior seriously, regardless of form.

OSAC is committed to providing an environment that is free from discriminatory behavior and sexual harassment. Harassment comes in many forms, including words or actions that are unprofessional, painful, and demeaning. It unnecessarily has a negative impact on OSAC members and the esprit de corps of OSAC events and activities.

Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior

Unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated. Any event participant requested to stop any unacceptable behavior is expected to comply immediately.

At any OSAC event, or joint event, OSAC may take any action deemed necessary and appropriate to include removal of the participant for any unacceptable behavior described above.

Anyone involved in unacceptable behavior may be subject to actions beyond expulsion from an event. Depending on the severity of the unacceptable behavior, further consequences may include termination of OSAC user access and/or denial to participate in future OSAC events or meetings in accordance with this policy or procedure.

Reporting Concerns

If you are the recipient of unacceptable behavior as defined above, have witnessed any such unacceptable behavior, or have additional concerns, please immediately contact the senior OSAC representative at an event or telephone the Executive Director at (571) 345-2214.

Requests for confidentiality will be honored to the extent permitted by law and U.S. Department of State policy.

Any participant experiencing or witnessing behavior that at any time in their judgment constitutes a crime or serious threat to the public is advised, when the event is held in the United States, to contact 911 immediately.

If the event is overseas, please report it to the police and also to the Senior OSAC representative attending the event, who can then coordinate any follow up action with the Regional Security Officer.

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