I typically don’t post much on my work, but expect that to change as I get more involved in public diplomacy and social media.
Today I attended the launch for Brookings Institution‘s report Voices of America: U.S. Public Diplomacy for the 21st Century (full report, PDF). I’ve yet to read the report and others are probably better suited to critique it than me, so I will give a brief overview of the proposal and then focus on summarizing the panel discussion.
As most of the recent reports have argued, the United States government needs a coordinated public diplomacy plan that includes all agencies who are participating in this type of engagement. This is clear for a variety of reasons and pretty much universally accepted.
What’s unique about the Brookings report is the proposal to create a new independent, non-profit, organization, similar to RAND or the British Council, which would work in service of U.S. public diplomacy efforts. Importantly, existing responsibility for public diplomacy in the U.S. government would remain unchanged. This is a key distinction, since other reports (such as this one from Heritage) have suggested consolidating all public diplomacy and strategic communication activities in a new agency (such as a reconstituted USIA).