WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Applause greeted Hillary Clinton at the State Department Thursday on her first day as secretary of state, embarking on what she called "a new era for America."
"In my testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee, I spoke a lot about smart power," Clinton told cheering U.S. State Department employees. "Well, at the heart of smart power are smart people, and you are those people."
She said she would ask much of her employees to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
"I want you to think outside the proverbial box," she said. "I want you to give me the best advice you can. I want you to understand there is nothing that I welcome more than a good debate and the kind of dialogue that will make us better."
Clinton said U.S. foreign policy is made up of defense, diplomacy, and development, and the State Department is responsible for two of the three legs.
"And we will make clear as we go forward that diplomacy and development are essential tools in achieving the long-term objectives of the United States," she said. "And I will do all that I can, working with you, to make it abundantly clear that robust diplomacy and effective development are the best long-term tools for securing America's future."