Let’s consider a recent report that the Deputy Secretary has “taking responsibility for finance; public diplomacy and public affairs; and civilian security, democracy and human rights.” Let’s now consider that the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs has been vacant 531 days this administration (all but precisely 100 days), why keep the office?
Intentionally left out of the above quantitative discussion is the qualitative side: what attributes and skillsets have been hired for the job? It was a veritable whipsaw with each new Under Secretary as it became a parlor game waiting to learn how the new appointee redefined “public diplomacy.”
According to history.state.gov, the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs position was authorized by Title XIII, Section 1313 of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (112 Stat. 2681-776). Section 2305 of the Act (112 Stat. 2681-825) increased the number of Under Secretaries of State from 5 to 6. Subdivision A of the Act, also know as the Foreign Affairs Agencies Consolidation Act of 1998, abolished the U.S. Information Agency and transferred its functions to the Department of State. The integration took place on Oct 1, 1999. The title was recently changed to Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
Read more via MountainRunner:
A short read: The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs: an updated incumbency chart and some backgroundhttps://t.co/bp4Tx9LC7t
— Matt Armstrong (@mountainrunner) August 26, 2019