From Soviet Propaganda to the "Firehose of Russian Falsehood"

Scott M. Rauland, U.S. State Department Senior Advisor for the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, discussed American public diplomacy initiatives in Eastern Europe before a capacity crowd at First Monday Forum on June 5 at the American Foreign Service Association.

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PD commentary

Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field

New PDC Volume for Instruction, Practice, and Analysis

Tuesday, January 3rd 2017

At a time when public diplomacy is vital to the nation, we have a vitally important resource to address all aspects of the field. Kudos to the authors. Tara D. Sonenshine, former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.


“This thoughtful new book probes the past and future of public diplomacy, which remains one of the more poorly understood instruments of U.S. foreign policy.”


Kristin M. Lord, president and CEO, IREX

President and CEO, IREX


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Debbie Trent is a public diplomacy and international development analyst. Her regional areas of expertise include the Near East, North Africa, South Asia, and Eurasia. authors name for more info

Author: Dr. Deborah Trent

U.S. International Broadcasting – A Way Forward

Monday, January 2nd 2017

Here's a guest post by Council Member Joseph B. Bruns, who served the Voice of America and PBS affiliates WETA and KQED as a senior executive.  He was also director of the U.S. Government's International Broadcasting, with oversight of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio and TV Marti and WorldNet Television.

Now that the National Defense Authorization Act has been signed into law removing the Broadcasting Board of Governors from managerial and operational authority over U.S. international broadcasting, it is time for those who care about it to cease the hand-wringing over the loss of the so-called firewall, roll up our sleeves and get down to the practical work of operating in the new paradigm.

After all, U.S. international broadcasting was effective before the invention of the BBG (some would argue more effective) while under USIA and the Board for International Broadcasting, and there is no reason why it cannot do so once again. In fact, the real firewall was not the BBG, which has stated that it had never received pressure from the White House or State Department to violate its editorial independence, but rather the VOA Charter, signed into law in 1976, the editorial principles adopted by RFE/RL, and, most importantly, the professional integrity of managers and editorial staff throughout the organizations. Without the latter, no amount of asbestos lining, and no nicety of legal language could suffice.

But it is obvious that work needs to be done. The structural change to international broadcasting, which received bi-partisan Congressional as well as Obama Administration support, came about out of a sense of deep dissatisfaction with the managerial and editorial performance of the BBG.  Yet it is people, not structure, who will lead U.S. broadcasting out of the miasma in which it finds itself. Leaders need to lead.

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Joe B. Johnson

Board member


Joe B. Johnson consults on government communication and technology after a career in the United States Foreign Service.  He is an instructor for the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, where he teaches strategic planning for public diplomacy. authors name for more info

Author: Joe Johnson

Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future

Wednesday, December 28th 2016

Looking for some news you can use in this time of sound-bitten political transition? The 11 contributors to Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future provide historical analysis, practice-based evidence, and forward-leaning insights for new and continuing actors in U.S. diplomacy’s expanding public dimension. The book is the newest in the Public Diplomacy Council’s series and will be available at by mid-January.

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Debbie Trent is a public diplomacy and international development analyst. Her regional areas of expertise include the Near East, North Africa, South Asia, and Eurasia. authors name for more info

Author: Dr. Deborah Trent

PDC Publication: Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future

The Public Diplomacy Council's has released its newest publication, Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future.

Making a Difference

Sunday, December 18th 2016

Making a Difference

Donald M. Bishop


A few years ago the Washington Post ran an article describing the difficulty that "young altruists" in their late 20's encounter as they try to leverage their desire to make the world a better place into careers.  Despite advanced degrees, languages, internships, short-term work with NGOs, and Peace Corps service, finding work with good pay and benefits is elusive, the article reported.

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors. authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

The Public Diplomacy Council is a nonprofit organization committed to the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Founded in 1988, the Council serves the community of public diplomacy professionals, professors and students interested in public diplomacy.





PDC/USC First Monday Forums

July 10, 2017: "VOA and WWII with Holly Schulman" 

August 7, 2017:  "U.S. Public Diplomacy at the State Level, Speaker: Phil Noble"

September 11, 2017:  "9/11 Sixteen Years Later" 

October 2, 2017: "How Finland Is Using Public Diplomacy to Celebrate Its Centennial"






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