Jul620094:04 pm

Difficulties of the public diplomacy-cone

Former State Department official Joe Johnston reminds us that there used to be a government agency that focused solely on public diplomacy. It’s been ten years since USIA was abolished and, as Johnston describes it, “public diplomacy-coned” FSOs face real challenges in their career development. He also thinks, though, that sending a chunk of new FSO hires to the public diplomacy track could help with the problem:

State may hire as many as 1,000 new Foreign Service officers in Fiscal Year 2010 if Congress approves the Department’s budget request.  Considering that there are no more than a thousand FSOs in the public diplomacy career track at this time, a healthy share of the thousand new officers could make a critical contribution to public diplomacy’s effectiveness by lowering vacancies and enabling adequate time for training between assignments.

UPDATE: I neglected to mention, though should have, that Joe is a distinguished member of the Public Diplomacy Council and introduced Sherry and me at a PDC event featuring Working World several months ago. The PDC holds a good number of interesting events in DC, all of which give young professionals and job seekers access to some of the most accomplished professionals working in public diplomacy.


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