Lucas Balke

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Professional Study in a Public Diplomacy Career

Friday, August 11th 2017

Professional Study in a Public Diplomacy Career


Donald M. Bishop


After their initial “entry level” assignments, most Foreign Service Officers in the Public Diplomacy cone begin their careers with one or more overseas tours as an IO, AIO, CAO, ACAO, APAO, or Consulate PAO.  These are the assignments that in time lead to becoming an embassy’s Public Affairs Officer, a member of the Country Team, and the Ambassador’s principal advisor on communication and Public Diplomacy.


It’s a hectic time for Public Diplomacy, and officers in these gateway jobs are so busy that the daily path of least resistance may be to “go with the flow” -- to take on one task at a time, to let the usual run of PAS and Embassy staff meetings fill up the weeks, and let Washington’s deadlines order the work. 


The down side of this approach is that it’s passive.  It forfeits the initiative that wins recognition and advancement.  The promotion panels smile on those officers who make their own breaks with a record of active achievement of U.S. goals.    

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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

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