Evolution of Public Diplomacy One Mutation at a Time

Last week offered two glimpses of U.S. public diplomacy’s gradual evolution. The State Department received confirmation that a merger between two of its three public diplomacy bureaus will move ahead.  International Information Programs and the Public Affairs bureau will become the Bureau of Global Public Affairs. A less visible but deeper change went public Thursday,…

Soft Power and Hard Targets

Occasionally I co-lead a strategy workshop for State Department practitioners of public diplomacy.  Each participant brings a topic and develops it into a public diplomacy campaign over five days; it’s learning by doing. The hardest thing for our students – both Foreign Service Officers and locally-hired staffers – is to define a clear objective and…

U.S. Public Diplomacy’s Chief Departs at Key Moment

By Joe B. Johnson Bruce Wharton, the first Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy from the ranks of the career Foreign Service, has retired.  Wharton has provided stellar leadership and set a fine example for public diplomacy employees since his appointment last December.  No successor has been announced. Nothing indicates that Ambassador Wharton’s departure is anything other than…