H.R. 2410: Public Diplomacy Takes Center Stage

TITLE II Subtitle B—Authorizes the Secretary of State (Secretary) to establish in the Foreign Service a Public Diplomacy Reserve Corps consisting of mid- and senior-level former Foreign Service officers and other individuals to serve for a period of six months to two years abroad. It provides for the enhancement of U.S. diplomatic outreach, including: (1) establishment of new, and maintenance of existing, libraries and resource centers in connection with U.S. diplomatic and consular missions; and (2) grants for documentary film programs. It also extends the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

SEC. 212. ESTABLISHMENT OF PUBLIC DIPLOMACY RESERVE CORPS.


(a) Finding- Congress finds that currently a shortage of trained public diplomacy Foreign Service officers at the mid-career level threatens the effectiveness of United States outreach to publics abroad.

(b) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that–

(1) the Foreign Service should recruit individuals with professional experience relevant to public diplomacy, and provide training and mentoring to cultivate their skills in order to build up the corps of professionals in the public diplomacy cone; and
(2) apart from the public diplomacy cone, training of all Foreign Service officers should include more information on techniques of public diplomacy.

(c) Establishment of Public Diplomacy Reserve Corps- Section 301 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 3941) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:‘(e) Establishment of Public Diplomacy Reserve Corps-

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of State is authorized to establish in the Foreign Service a Public Diplomacy Reserve Corps consisting of mid- and senior-level former Foreign Service officers and other individuals with experience in the private or public sector relevant to public diplomacy, to serve for a period of six months to two years in postings abroad.

(2) PROHIBITION ON CERTAIN ACTIVITIES- While actively serving with the Reserve Corps, individuals may not engage in activities directly or indirectly intended to influence public opinion within the United States in the same manner and to the same extent that employees of the Department of State engaged in public diplomacy are so prohibited.’


More public diplomacy provision under this bill below (click
here to read the details)

Sec. 211. Concentration of public diplomacy responsibilities.

Sec. 212. Establishment of Public Diplomacy Reserve Corps.

Sec. 213. Enhancing United States public diplomacy outreach.

Sec. 214. Public diplomacy resource centers.

Sec. 215. Grants for international documentary exchange programs.

Sec. 216. United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

Sec. 217. Special Olympics.

Sec. 218. Extension of program to provide grants to American-sponsored schools in predominantly Muslim countries to provide scholarships.

Sec. 219. Central Asia scholarship program for public policy internships.

Sec. 220. United States-South Pacific Scholarship Program.

Sec. 221. Scholarships for indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central and South America.

Sec. 222. United States-Caribbean Educational Exchange Program.

Sec. 223. Exchanges between Sri Lanka and the United States to promote dialogue among minority groups in Sri Lanka.

Sec. 224. Exchanges between Liberia and the United States for women legislators.

Sec. 225. Public diplomacy plan for Haiti.

Sec. 226. Transfer of the Vietnam Education Foundation to the Department of State.


The U.S. Information Agency (USIA) was abolished ten years ago (October 1, 1999), when its information (but not broadcasting) and exchange functions were folded into the Department of State under the Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy (“R”). The USIA officers who stayed have been scattered around the bureaus and overseas missions; others have retired. I’m not sure how many old hands from USIA are around and willing to staff the Public Diplomacy Reserve Corps. I’m also wondering if we’ll see an increased in WAE appointments or if we’ll see more contractors coming from the private sector for these 6-24 months appointments for PDRC jobs.


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