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Report: Public Diplomacy Needs Better Recruitment, Staffing, Training

Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson at Foreign Press Center

Assistant Secretary Roberta Jacobson delivers remarks on re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba. Washington, D.C. Foreign Press Center. 22 May 2015 (Department of State)

20 June 2015. A report issued this week by the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy and Meridian International Center recommends strengthening the human resource support for public diplomacy professionals at State Department to better meet a more challenging foreign policy environment. The reportGetting the People Part Right II: The Human Resources Dimension of U.S. Public Diplomacy in 2015, was a joint initiative of the advisory commission and Amb. Laurence Wohlers, a senior fellow at Meridian International Center.

As the title implies, the project followed-up on a similar inquiry by the advisory commission in 2008. In their study, the authors looked mainly at human resource functions — recruitment, staffing, training, and advancement — of foreign service officers, but also reviewed the need for a clearer understanding of public diplomacy’s mission and priorities.

The report makes 18 recommendations beginning with an improved process for developing public diplomacy strategies, as well as strengthening the connection between those strategies and human resource functions. Two of the 18 recommendations deal with Civil Service professionals in public diplomacy offices.

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