portrait Lee Satterfield

Biden Nominee for Educational and Cultural Affairs Gets a Senate Hearing

The Biden Administration’s nominee for a major part of U.S. public diplomacy received a favorable hearing from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Assistant secretaries for educational and cultural affairs are traditionally primus inter pares in State’s public diplomacy leadership circle.  In 2019, the bureau’s budget was $700.9 million.  Only the U.S. Agency for Global Media…

man in dark on laptop

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. THE PRESIDENT’S 2022 “WISH LIST” AND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: President Biden has submitted his FY 2022 budget to Congress, and it requests a historic, mind-numbing $6 trillion to “help us build back better, leaving us stronger at home and on the world stage.” This request includes $58.5 billion for State Department and USAID, a 10 percent…

Samantha Power at lectern

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. USAID GAINS SAMANTHA’S POWER: USAID has some 9,000 staff members working in about 100 countries. Many of these professionals, especially including public affairs personnel, must be very happy with their new Administrator, Samantha Power, the former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, war correspondent who got her start in Bosnia, and human rights advocate. She began…

Aircraft with USAID relief packages andU.S. officials in foreground

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. THE STRUGGLE TO REFORM PUBLIC DIPLOMACY STAFFING: As any PD officer knows, the effort to inform and influence foreign publics relies heavily on support from approximately 2,600 loyal PD Locally Employed Staff (LES) who do PD work in 189 U.S. missions around the world. Any attempt to reform their functions, structures, and position descriptions is…

Secretary Blinken at podium

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. HUMAN RIGHTS ARE BACK: Anyone doubting that U.S. policy towards human rights has changed under the Biden Administration should take a look at Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s words on March 30, 2021 when he unveiled the 45th annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. In releasing the comprehensive review of human rights in nearly 200…

cherry blossoms Jefferson Memorial

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. HATE CRIMES — ANOTHER PUBLIC DIPLOMACY CHALLENGE: Our ambassadors and PD officers suddenly have a new challenge: explaining what President Biden has called a “skyrocketing spike” of harassment and violence against Asian Americans and the need for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to pass Congress. On several occasions since taking office, President Biden has clearly…

satellite image of arctic circle

Arctic Strategy — an Awakening Interest

Imagine, for a moment, that you are a passenger in a space capsule with a view of the Arctic Ocean, with its polar icecap kissing the coasts of the U.S. state of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and hovering close to Russia. That schematic map of Planet Earth’s northernmost region is vividly depicted on page 45 of…

Photo of Secretary Blinken and PM Trudeau on a large screen

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. VISITING THE NEIGHBORS – OFFICIALLY, BUT VIRTUALLY:  A major feature of diplomacy has been face-to-face interaction between American senior officials and their foreign counterparts.  Those days — at least for the immediate future — are over during this painful time of border crossing restrictions. As Secretary of State Blinken demonstrated on February 26, 2021, you can…

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. A STUNNING DAY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: Friday, February 19, 2021 was not “just another news day” for America. If you were a U.S. diplomat, especially a public diplomacy officer, it was arguably a great day. Several things happened within just a couple of hours to significantly explain and advance U.S. policy of partnership, cooperation, engagement…

Secretary Blinken standing with President Biden inside State Department offices

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. “POTUS” VISITS FOGGY BOTTOM: A visit to the State Department by the President of the United States (POTUS) is always a major event. (President Trump only visited the building once in four years — for Secretary Pompeo’s 2018 swearing-in ceremony — and once famously joked that Pompeo was head of the “Deep State Department”.) So…