Back Issues of PDAA Today

Back issues of PDAA Today, PDAA’s quarterly print newsletter are now online and available for download.

About PDAA

Jennifer Galt on Web chat

Jennifer Galt, a 2015 Public Diplomacy Achievement Award winner, conducting Web chat over social media. (U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou)

(Updated, May 31, 2019) 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 which the U.S. Government incorporates into the conduct of its diplomacy abroad.

Public Diplomacy Achievement Awards

Public diplomacy, when done right, combines leadership, imagination, resourcefulness, and plain determination, often under challenging conditions. PDAA recognizes outstanding achievement by individuals and teams at overseas posts and at State Department headquarters that display these qualities, among others.

Luncheon Speakers and Discussions

PDAA sponsors a speakers program for members and their guests four times a year; has completed more than 125 oral histories of distinguished USIA Officers; publishes a newsletter and directory; and encourages members to write op-ed pieces and letters to editors and legislators about public diplomacy.

The association engages in social, education, and information activities related to the profession and discipline of public diplomacy. It actively promotes greater awareness in the United States of the public diplomacy dimension of American foreign relations.

PDAA or its predecessor organization has sponsored four major symposia (“Ike and USIA,” “THE U.S. – Warts and All,” “American Libraries Overseas – Their Importance and Impact,” and “Communicating With the World in the 1990s”), and published the proceedings of three of them.

It has produced and sold more than 300 copies of a two-part, hour-long educational video on public diplomacy. Part I is entitled “Public Diplomacy – Telling America’s Story.” Part II is “Public Diplomacy – The Road Ahead.” The video has been shown on public access TV in cities coast to coast, and updated in 2011.

Although USIA activities were transferred to the Department of State and USIA was abolished October 1, 1999, the Public Diplomacy Association of America continues with its civic and social activities. Members receive the membership directory which is updated and published annually, as well as PDAA Today, published quarterly. The newsletter covers in pictures and text significant events in alumni affairs world-wide, information about individual alumni, and historic and contemporary articles concerning public diplomacy.

Topical conferences and dinners are held periodically. Luncheons are generally held four times per year. Speakers have run the gamut from senior U.S. Government officials to the late Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) to Robert Coonrod, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Amb. Cynthia Efird

PDAA president Amb. Cynthia Efird, at PDAA’s April 10, 2017, lunch program (A. Kotok)

PDAA Board of Directors*


Janice Brambilla, President
Joel Fischman, Vice President
Bill Wanlund, Secretary
Mary Jeffers, Treasurer

Cynthia Efird, President Emerita**
Greta Morris, President Emerita**
Michael Korff
Tom Miller
Claude Porcella**
Judy Baroody
Pat Kushlis
Joan Mower
Domenick DiPasquale
Jarek Anders


Amb. Cynthia Efird, President
Tania Chomiak-Salvi, Vice-President
James L. Bullock, Treasurer
William Wanlund, Secretary
Amb. Greta N. Morris, President Emerita**
Michael Schneider, President Emeritus**

Janice Brambilla**
Joel Fischman
Mary Jeffers
Michael Korff
Chandley McDonald**
Thomas Miller
Claude Porsella
Jonathan Schaffer**
Wendy Simmons
Elizabeth Thornhill**

*The Board can be contacted at

**ex officio