Secretary of State Clinton met with Palestinian students in the West Bank city of Ramallah in March 2009. Associated Press (AP) Image
The President is committed to renewing America’s engagement with the people of the world by enhancing mutual respect and understanding and creating partnerships aimed at solving common problems. Public diplomacy must embrace and pursue this long-term objective even as it seeks in the short term to engage, understand, inform, and persuade foreign publics on issues of U.S. policies, society and values. The Department of State and USAID foster strategic communication with international audiences through cultural programming, academic grants, educational exchanges, international visitor programs, and U.S. Government efforts to confront and counter ideological support for terrorism. Thanks to the communication revolution that has swept across the world, State and USAID are expanding the scope of public diplomacy and foreign assistance by engaging with broader and younger audiences around the world, with particular emphasis on Muslim communities. The two agencies tailor messages and programs to reach new audiences and better coordinate interagency activities. Embracing new technologies, which, if used creatively and in partnership with U.S. posts overseas, holds the promise of dramatically scaling up many traditional public diplomacy outreach efforts.
Of the seven indicators within this Strategic Goal, three met or exceeded targets and one was below target. Ratings are not available for three indicators that are either new or for which data are not yet available. The Department of State and USAID allocated $1.2 billion toward this Strategic Goal in FY 2009, which is two percent of the total State-USAID budget supporting all strategic goals. A more detailed discussion of the priorities under this Strategic Goal and U.S. Government performance for two illustrative indicators is provided in the following section.