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Our People and Our Values Are the Core of U.S. International Leadership: Statement by PDAA and PDC Boards of Directors

October 31, 2019

As Board members of the Public Diplomacy Council and the Public Diplomacy Association of America, non-partisan organizations of professionals committed to U.S. global leadership, we support all public servants who work every day to advance our national interests. We call on Americans to reject efforts to demean the integrity, lives, and careers of our professionals and join together behind the democratic values that have earned our country admiration around the world.

Throughout our careers, we have seen first-hand the advances and partnerships that generations of dedicated public servants have won for our country. Like the military, State Department career professionals leave our politics at home. As public diplomacy professionals, we have dedicated our careers and our honor to explaining, advocating and advancing U.S. foreign policy and strengthening international dialogue for understanding.

The people representing U.S. interests and telling America’s story to the world are truthful and patriotic advocates for the policies set forth by our elected leaders, consistent with our democratic values and the rule of law — and sometimes do so at great risk. When career professionals have concerns about official policy or practice, there are long-standing and legally-protected channels to express them. We support the use of those channels, as is happening now, as fully legitimate and in the best interests of our national security.

As Americans work to rebuild our national consensus, it will be important to remember that our country is always on stage, a global power whose actions and values animate discussions everywhere. With the power of our armed forces well established, we must move quickly to reiterate the connection between our foreign policy and our values – providing the world with regular, clear articulation of our vision and goals. Most important of all, we must continue to engage the American people, source of our greatest strength.

The world can be a dangerous place, yet America’s commitment to democratic principles, open dialogue, and truth wins us global respect – even from our adversaries.

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The Public Diplomacy Council is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed to the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Contact: publicdiplomacycouncil@gmail.com.

Public Diplomacy Association of America is a not-for-profit, voluntary association for public diplomacy professionals, with some 400 members. PDAA members have worked in or with the information, education, and cultural programs, which the U.S. Government incorporates into the conduct of its diplomacy abroad. Contact: Admin@publicdiplomacy.org.

PDAA Board of Directors 2019-20

PDAA Board of Directors, from left: Judy Baroody, Joel Fischman (Vice President), Mary Jeffers (Treasurer), Cynthia Efird (President Emerita), Greta Morris (President Emerita), Tom Miller, Janice Brambilla (President), Domenick DiPasquale, Bill Wanlund (Secretary), Michael Korff (Editor). Absent: Jarek Anders, Pat Kushlis, Joan Mower, Claude Porsella. (Photo: Alan Kotok)

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