First Monday Forum is the PDCA’s major public program (now on Zoom), spanning all aspects of diplomacy in the public sphere. Photo by Bruce Guthrie.

The Public Diplomacy Council of America – a new professional organization for the new era in global engagement

The PDCA, a nonprofit association of practitioners and scholars, promotes excellence in the professional practice, academic study, and advocacy for public diplomacy. We will:

  • Honor achievement of practitioners and scholars
  • Enable members to connect with each other  and keep current with issues and new developments in global communication
  • Mentor and train professionals in this rapidly changing field
  • Promote public understanding of the increasingly important ‘public dimension’ of statecraft and
  • Advocate for the role of public diplomacy in U.S. statecraft and for new initiatives, and seek new sources of support for public diplomacy activities

Publics are more engaged and important than ever before.

No longer can governments decide the world’s fate irrespective of their own publics and those of other nations. Both old and new media mobilize publics as never before. Leaders consult stakeholders, carefully analyze public opinion on a daily basis, and seek to shape media and popular support. Deeply held values and cultural norms affect public perceptions and judgments about issues.

The United States has long relied on NGOs and independent media.

Government agencies carry out public diplomacy increasingly in tandem with nongovernmental organizations and transnational institutions. These organizations also have their own agendas for domestic and world affairs. They might partner with a government agency at one time, and, at 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 nongovernmental 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, and policies. PDCA is also dedicated to the study of comparative public diplomacy.

What We do: Programs and activities:

Annual Achievement Awards

Public Programs and Events

Professional Development and Mentoring

Weekly email updates, a periodic newsletter and an online  directory enable our members to stay up to date and in touch with each other.

Our Values

Our values reflect who we are and what we stand for. See our statement here.


The PDCA offers membership to Foreign and Civil Service officers in the Department of State, USAID, and those in other federal agencies, and scholars and students interested in the public dimension of U.S. statecraft and those involved with diverse educational and cultural exchanges.  Learn more.


The Public Diplomacy Council of America is a merger of two longstanding voluntary professional organizations, the Public Diplomacy Association of America (PDAA) and the Public Diplomacy Council (PDC). Each organization, dating back to the late 1980s, has engaged professionals in ongoing discussion of, and support for, activities of U.S. Government agencies in public diplomacy.