1. Committee’s Official Designation
The United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (“the Commission”).
The Commission was originally established under Section 604 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, as amended (22 U.S.C. § 1469), and under Section 8 of Reorganization Plan Number 2 of 1977. It was most recently reauthorized pursuant to Section 168 of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act (Div. A, P.L. 116-159), which amended section 1334 of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. § 6553). It is operated in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. Appendix (FACA), to the extent that FACA is not inconsistent with the Commission’s authorizing legislation.
3. Objectives and Scope of Activities
The Commission appraises the U.S. Government activities intended to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics (“public diplomacy activities”). It may assemble and disseminate information and issue reports and other publications to the Secretary of State, the President, and the Congress, subject to the approval of the Chairperson, in consultation with the Designated Federal Officer. The Commission may undertake foreign travel in pursuit of its studies and coordinate, sponsor, and oversee projects, studies, events, or other activities that are necessary to fulfill its functions.
4. Description of Duties
Pursuant to 22 U.S.C. § 1469, the Commission:
A) Formulates and recommends to the President, the Secretary of State, Members of Congress policies and programs to carry out the public diplomacy functions vested in the State Department, Broadcasting Board of Governors (now U.S. Agency for Global Media), and other government entities.
B) Appraises the effectiveness of the public diplomacy policies and programs carried out by government agencies.
C) Submits reports to the Congress, the President, and the Secretary of State on public diplomacy programs and activities, as outlined in 22 U.S.C. § 1469, including the Comprehensive Annual Report on Public Diplomacy and International Broadcasting Activities.
D) Submits other reports as it deems appropriate to the Secretary of State, the President, and the Congress.
E) Makes reports and other information available to the public in the United States and abroad, on the Commission’s website or through other means as determined by the Commission, to develop a better understanding of and support for public diplomacy activities and programs.
5. Agency or Official to Whom the Committee Reports
By statute, the Commission reports to the Secretary of State and the President.
Support for the Commission will be provided by the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. To the extent practicable, the Department will provide the Commission with open source budget and program data, including actual funds spent. The Commission will seek to affirm the accuracy of data derived from the Department’s information.
7. Estimated Annual Operating Costs and Staff Years
Members serve without compensation but are reimbursed for travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence as authorized by law (5 U.S.C. §§ 5701-5707).
The Commission is currently supported by 2.0 FTE and has an estimated annual operating cost of $435,000 ($135,000 of program funds and approximately $300,000 of salary costs for the 2.0 FTE). Other personnel may be appointed consistent with 22 U.S.C. § 1469, as it is amended from time to time.
8. Designated Federal Officer
The Department of State shall name a designated federal officer (DFO), who shall be a full-time or permanent part-time federal officer or employee. The DFO may serve as executive director. The DFO will approve or call all of the advisory committee meetings and the meetings of any subcommittees, will prepare and approve all meeting agendas, attend all committee and subcommittee meetings, adjourn any meeting when the DFO determines adjournment to be in the public interest, and chair meetings when directed to do so by the Department of State.
9. Estimated Number and Frequency of Meetings
It is anticipated that the Commission will meet approximately four times a year. All meetings of the Advisory Commission will be open to the public unless a determination has been made in accordance with Section 10(d) of FACA that a meeting or portion of a meeting should be closed to the public.
Meetings of the Commission will be notified to the public and conducted in accordance with FACA. The Chairman shall certify the accuracy of the minutes.
At any meeting of the Commission open to the public, interested persons shall be permitted to attend and, at the discretion of the Department of State, make an appearance before the Commission.
The Commission operates on a continuing basis, as authorized by Congress.
This charter will terminate two years after filing date.
12. Membership and Designation
The Commission consists of seven members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The members of the Commission shall represent the public interest and shall be selected from a cross-section of educational, communications, cultural, scientific, technical, public service, labor, business, and professional backgrounds. Not more than four members shall be from any one political party.
The term of each member will be for three years. Any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which a predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term. Upon the expiration of a member’s term of office, such member may continue to serve until a successor is appointed and qualified. The President shall designate a member to chair the Commission.
The Department of State may authorize subcommittees as needed. All subcommittees must report to the Commission, and must not provide advice or work products directly to the Department of State or any Federal agency.
Records of the Commission and any subcommittees will be handled in accordance with General Records Schedule 6.2. Subject to FACA and the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, unclassified records, reports, transcripts, minutes, and other documents that are made available to, or prepared for or by, the Commission will be available for public inspection and copying at the U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520.
NOW, THEREBY, this Charter shall be considered approved by the Department of State as of this date and shall be provided to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and to the Library of Congress, pursuant to the provisions of the FACA.
Approved: Carol Z. Perez
Acting Under Secretary for Management (M)