13 Going on 14 — GFM: https://gofund.me/32671a27
Via Matt Armstrong/MountainRunner.us:
For nearly a decade, continuing the work of retired ambassador Brian Carlson, I have published a table revealing the ongoing, bipartisan failure to fill the office of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. The first publication of the data was in December 2011 under my direction when I was the executive director of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. An addendum appeared on this blog the following month, January 2012, which was revised in November 2017. Another update appeared here in August 2019, followed by another in December 2020. This is the sixth public edition.
The vacancy is not a failure of design that requires establishing a new bureaucracy but a marquee failure of leadership to appreciate the role of public opinion in foreign affairs, including but well beyond the realm of “national security.” The senior-most leadership has failed to recognize the potential of this position and failed to empower, support, and hold accountable the officeholders. There are exceptions, but these prove the rule. The negligent marginalization of information in US foreign policy is best represented not by the efforts to work around this office with the establishment of the Global Engagement Center or calls to recreate USIA but by bipartisan inaction that has left this office on the sidelines and vacant 40% of the time since it was established twenty-two years ago.