Public Diplomacy Books

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How Embassies Practice Public Diplomacy Now: New Book

Friday, November 28th 2014

Last September, Palgrave-MacMillan published “Front Line Public Diplomacy: How U.S. Embassies Communicate with Foreign Publics,” by Ambassador Bill Rugh, a Council member.  The book draws on original research by Rugh’s students at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University to describe current public diplomacy practice within the United States State Department and its embassies, emphasizing field operations.

The book is based on interviews with practicing PD professionals, and the content has been reviewed by currently serving PD officers.  That ensures up-to-date information about practice and organization.  In the last chapter, Rugh – a former Foreign Service Officer – presents his enduring principles of effective public diplomacy practice.

Experts including Nick Cull, Tony Quainton and Betsy Whitaker have praised the book as an essential reference and guide for academics, students and practitioners.  Readers can go to the publisher’s website, linked above, to find out more and to purchase copies.

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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

A Teachable Moment

Wednesday, October 29th 2014

One of the first things I learned when I became Director of the Press Office at the State Department was to trust and respect the Associated Press reporters. 

The wire service reporters who covered the Department 24/7 from their little office on the second floor understood State, the personalities of the different bureaus, the proclivities of senior officers both career and political, and the nuances of American foreign policy far better than many FSOs.

The AP reporters at State in my time were Barry Schweid and George Gedda.   It is probably fair to say that every Foreign Service Officer working on important policy issues during the last 40 years has talked to one or the other of them, on the record or on background.  They invariably traveled with the Secretary, “door-stopped” senior officials at the C Street entrance, and judged a crisis by which HST windows were still lit late at night.  If you missed their copy in the newspapers, you could hear them voice their reports on AP Radio and NPR.  They led off every noon briefing with a tough question.

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Board member 

Summary: A career public diplomacy officer, Brian Carlson advises the InterMedia research organization on military and foreign affairs issues and manages communication strategies for private clients. 


Ambassador Brian E. Carlson, a former Career Minister in the United States Foreign Service, currently assists international media and audience analysis firm InterMedia on defense and diplomatic sector activities. authors name for more info

Author: Brian Carlson

How to Purchase The Last Three Feet: Case Studies in Public Diplomacy

Friday, August 10th 2012

Thanks to some very fast work by our friends at, the Council's new book is already available in both paperback and as an e-book on their website. The book is also available through our printer Create Space on their website and will shortly be available on many international Amazon sites and at quality independent book stores around the U.S.   Now there is no excuse not to buy a copy.  

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KIEHL, WILLIAM P. authors name for more info

Author: Bill Kiehl

The Practice of Public Diplomacy Abroad--A Book Review (courtesy of American Diplomacy, June 13, 2011)

Monday, June 13th 2011

The Practice of Public Diplomacy:Confronting Challenges Abroad,  Edited by William A. Rugh, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, March 2011, ISBN: 978-0-230-11322-0, 280 pp., $85.   Reviewed by William P. Kiehl, Ed. D., Editor of American Diplomacy

“This book shows great promise” was an initial reaction while reading the superb introduction to this volume by editor Ambassador (ret.) William Rugh.  Dr. Rugh put this collection of 14 essays together from term papers submitted by his graduate school students at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  The “promise” was anticipation that the volume under review would fill a void in the relatively new academic field of public diplomacy studies.  That gap consists of narrative material focusing on the practical work of public diplomacy officers at overseas posts. The need is, as the editor states, “to convey an understanding of public diplomacy as it is practiced by professionals at American embassies abroad.” Calling, in essence, for case studies in U. S. public diplomacy.

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KIEHL, WILLIAM P. authors name for more info

Author: Bill Kiehl

Public Diplomacy In Action

Sunday, November 28th 2010

Here is an example of public diplomacy in action: The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs has just published "The Eagle and the Elephant: Thai American Relations Since 1833" which was produced for the Thai Embassy in Washington by PDWorldwide (PDC Member Bill Kiehl's international consulting firm).   Read More
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