Single orange grows on an apple tree

Apples and Oranges Don’t Grow on the Same Tree

The announcement that the State Department may merge the Bureau of Public Affairs and the calls to mind George Santayana’s warning that “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Let’s master the information needs of the twenty-first century without forgetting the lessons of the twentieth. Efforts to co-mingle foreign and…

President Dwight D. Eisenhower meeting with Secretary of State John Foster Dulles at the White House.

1957: Eisenhower, Dulles and merging USIA back into State, or Not

On Friday morning, January 18, 1957, Arthur Larson gave a lengthy and wide-ranging presentation on the United States Information Agency to President Eisenhower’s cabinet. After 22 months as under secretary at the Labor Department, and now one month as USIA Director, Larson used charts, maps, and film clips to describe the barely four-year-old agency. The nearly three dozen attendees…

A group of teen boys dressed in blue baseball uniforms

Reaching Youth

The State Department brought John Matel out of retirement to manage public diplomacy activities in São Paulo for 42 days in August and September, 2018, as “while actually employed.” Before his retirement from the Foreign Service he was Country Public Affairs Officer for Brazil from 2011 to 2014.  Reaching Youth Brazil’s flagship youth exchange is…

Loyalty Recognized

The State Department brought John Matel out of retirement to manage public diplomacy activities in São Paulo for 42 days in August and September, 2018, as “while actually employed.” Before his retirement from the Foreign Service he was Country Public Affairs Officer for Brazil from 2011 to 2014.  Paulo Agustoni had been working for the…

Two men smile

Volunteerism

The praise was a bit embarrassing, and I am not sure I liked how it was tactically deployed, but the masters of ceremony held up the USA as the paragon of volunteerism, gently disparaging the Brazilian audience, pointing out that only around 4% of Brazilians were involved in volunteer activities. The State Department brought me…