The ACPD is a bipartisan panel created by Congress in 1948 to formulate, assess and recommend policies and programs to carry out the Public Diplomacy (PD) functions vested in U.S. government entities, to include the Department of State. This special report focuses on the Public Diplomacy Staffing Initiative (PDSI), which represents one of the most important transformations in U.S. public diplomacy (PD) operations overseas since the merger of the U.S. Information Agency into the Department of State in 1999.
In addition to launching a major revision of the position descriptions for locally employed public diplomacy staff at U.S. diplomatic missions abroad, the PDSI includes a significant restructuring of embassy public diplomacy sections. Yet outside of the relatively narrow scope of public diplomacy sections, bureaus and offices within the Department of State, little is known about the PDSI’s strategic intent, let alone its impacts.
To fill this knowledge gap, and to better understand the PDSI’s transformative potential, the ACPD is proud to present an assessment of this new staffing model and its role in the modernization of PD practices. We are especially pleased to showcase the great work of locally engaged public diplomacy professionals who are essential to the success of America’s information and outreach activities around the world.