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Government agencies carry out public diplomacy increasingly in tandem with non-governmental organizations and trans-national institutions. These organizations also have their own agendas for domestic and world affairs. They might partner with a government agency at one time, and, in other times, oppose or pressure their own and other governments.
With our own vigorous domestic discourse and the ongoing belief in paying a “… decent respect to the opinions of mankind …,” the United States has long sought to understand and work with publics abroad, directly through U.S. Government-sponsored or facilitated activities and increasingly with non-governmental organizations.
Some argue that public diplomacy is conducted directly or facilitated by the U.S. government toward international publics. Others extend the definition to citizen-diplomacy, manifest increasingly in a host of specialized pursuits such as the environment, science and technology, sports, health, cultural and educational exchange, and the arts. While the United States has been active in the field of public diplomacy the longest, it is by no means the only government that focuses on improving the understanding of its history, culture, society, motivations, etc.
The Public Diplomacy Council is a U.S. -based nonprofit organization committed to the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. The Council offers associate membership to practicing PD professionals, and invites retired Foreign Service Officers, scholars and other experts to full membership status. See our Membership Page for more details.
PDAA, an association for public diplomacy professionals and formerly the USIA Alumni Association, is a not-for-profit, voluntary, 501(c)(6) organization, with some 400 members. PDAA members have worked in or with the information, education, and cultural programs that the U.S. Government incorporates into the conduct of its diplomacy. Its membership is open to anyone interested in public diplomacy as it is practiced abroad.