The Public Diplomacy Council
- President: Mr. Morris E. "Bud" Jacobs
- Vice President: Amb. Pamela Smith
- Treasurer: Dr. William P. Kiehl
- Secretary: Mrs. Ronna Freiberg
The Public Diplomacy Council is a nonprofit organization committed to the importance of the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Its members believe that understanding, informing, and influencing foreign publics and dialogue between Americans and United States’ institutions and their counterparts abroad are vital to the national interest and core elements of 21st century American diplomacy.
The Public Diplomacy Council has no government connection and receives no financial support from any government source. It seeks support from foundation grants and corporate and individual gifts.
The Council is a 501(c)(3) organization that relies on the dues, contributions, and volunteer work of its members. Donations to the Council are tax deductible.
The Public Diplomacy Council was founded in 1988 as the Public Diplomacy Foundation. Dedicated to fostering greater public recognition of public diplomacy in the conduct of foreign affairs, the Foundation evolved to serve also as a resource and advocate for the teaching, training, and development of public diplomacy as an academic discipline.
In 2001, the Foundation joined with The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs and Elliott School of International Affairs to establish the Public Diplomacy Institute. The Foundation changed its name to the Public Diplomacy Council and became a membership organization with an elected board of directors. The Council maintains close ties with the United States Information Agency Alumni Association whose president is an ex-officio member of the Council's board of directors.
The Public Diplomacy Council is committed to fostering awareness of the public, social, educational, and cultural dimensions of world affairs. In recent years the Council and the Public Diplomacy Institute have become a primary source of information on the academic study of public diplomacy and on legislative and executive branch efforts to strengthen its use as an essential element of statecraft.
The Council's Assumptions
- Publics and their opinions matter increasingly in a globalizing world.
- U.S. statecraft should rely on careful analysis of the public dimension of issues.
- Informed judgments about global trends depend on an understanding of social and cultural dynamics and public opinion here and abroad.
- Civil society, the arts and educational communities are crucial intermediaries with counterparts in other nations.
- Public Diplomacy budgets, training, and recruitment do not reflect the growing importance of public diplomacy.
- 21st Century diplomacy will rely increasingly on mastery of modern telecommunications, yet the growth in mass communication creates a more urgent need for interpersonal communication.
The Council's Objectives
- Encourage teaching, research, and writing in the academic study of public diplomacy and foster high standards in its professional practice;
- Increase understanding of public diplomacy and ways in which its values, standards, and practices must improve among the American people, Congress, and the executive branch;
- Maintain productive relations with the Department of State, other U.S. Government agencies, and non-governmental organizations with similar goals;
- Study and issue public findings and recommendations on the conduct of public diplomacy and its value to American foreign policy;
- Increase understanding and appreciation of past public diplomacy contributions through research, scholarship, and preservation of archival materials;
- Provide highly qualified individuals to participate in the projects of the Council and the Public Diplomacy Institute, and serve as the body from which six members of the Institute’s Board of Directors are chosen.