New Public Diplomacy Posts at State

State Department Plans 7 New Posts in Public Diplomacy - Nicholas Kralev, Washington Times.

The State Department plans to create seven new senior positions to ensure that a public-diplomacy perspective is always "incorporated" in policymaking around the world, as well as to respond quickly to negative coverage of the United States in foreign media.

In an ambitious strategy that goes beyond any previous efforts to reach out to other countries, the Obama administration "seeks to become woven into the fabric of the daily lives of people" there, its top public-diplomacy official said Wednesday.

"We must do a better job of listening, learn how people in other countries and cultures listen to us, understand their desires and aspirations, and provide them with information and services of value to them," said Judith A. McHale, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs...

More at The Washington Times.

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From the perspective of 30 years spent in the Foreign Service, at least one factor at work here is that if you don't actually put a task into someone's work requirements statement and then hold them to that requirement in the annual performance evaluation (and possible promotion) it doesn't get done. There is also the reality that these extra bodies will help ensure that the public diplomacy perspective/bureaucratic position will be represented and reflected better with their presence in more places, more times. It's a question of time and resources.

Could this be a coincidence? The US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy published a report a short time back to discuss this topic in great length. http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/106297.pdf
its a good read.