Last week, Phil Seib, professor of journalism and public diplomacy at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and director for the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, posted a short diatribe on the new State Department ‘framework’ for public diplomacy created and shared by the Office of the Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Phil’s post, his second on the framework, followed a (too) short conference call with Judith McHale the day after a Senate hearing chaired by Senator Kaufman (D-DE) that included Judith and three of her predecessors (Lieberman, Hughes, and Glassman). Also on the call where Spencer Ackerman, Helle Dale, Mark Dillen, and myself.
The essence of the second post was captured the closing paragraph:
Putting public diplomacy where it belongs – at the heart of U.S. foreign policy – will require a steep uphill climb. Embracing the Bush administration’s approach to public diplomacy is not the way to get there.
This prompted this response by Jim Glassman posted as a comment to the post.
Philip Seib’s snooty little note icondemns (sic) Judith McHale for agreeing with her predecsessors and says that public diplomacy was "often in shambles" during the Bush administration, yet he makes no attempt to engage with what Karen Hughes and I actually did as Under Secretaries or what we actually SAID at the hearing — there’s lots of raw material in my 20 pages of written testimony. Is there more required from a post on the Huffington Post than assertion and posturing? One wonders. I would like to hear from Professor Seib — or anyone else — on the "lack of imagination" in the strategies, including Public Diplomacy 2.0, that we implemented at State. Let’s have an adult discussion.
— Jim Glassman, former U/S of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
What are your thoughts on the “lack of imagination” in the prior strategies?