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We demonstrate rapid tuning of the emission frequency of a room-temperature mid-infrared quantum cascade laser by external optical pumping. Emission frequency tuning over 0.3 cm-1 (10 GHz) has been achieved for a λ = 9 μm device by optical generation of electron-hole pairs along the entire length of the laser stripe. Measurements indicate that this approach allows for rapid broadband frequency-modulation of mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers at above 300 MHz modulation frequencies.