Ambassador George V. Allen, Smith-Mundt, and the Voice of America

George Allen, Jan 1948

George Allen served as the State Department’s third Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, following William Benton and Archibald MacLeish.  MacLeish, the former Librarian of Congress, was the first incumbent when the title was Assistant Secretary of State for Public and Cultural Relations. Benton dropped the “and Cultural,” which he saw as a kind of lightning rod with Congress, and changed “Relations” to “Affairs.” Throughout, however, the role was fundamentally the modern equivalent to the combined responsibilities of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy (and Public Affairs) and the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. Allen’s comments on the purpose, and temporary nature, of the Voice of America are interesting with respect to the modern interpretation of the Smith-Mundt Act.  Continue reading “Ambassador George V. Allen, Smith-Mundt, and the Voice of America

George Allen, Jan 1948

George Allen served as the State Department’s third Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, following William Benton and Archibald MacLeish.  MacLeish, the former Librarian of Congress, was the first incumbent when the title was Assistant Secretary of State for Public and Cultural Relations. Benton dropped the “and Cultural,” which he saw as a kind of lightning rod with Congress, and changed “Relations” to “Affairs.” Throughout, however, the role was fundamentally the modern equivalent to the combined responsibilities of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy (and Public Affairs) and the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. Allen’s comments on the purpose, and temporary nature, of the Voice of America are interesting with respect to the modern interpretation of the Smith-Mundt Act.  Continue reading “Ambassador George V. Allen, Smith-Mundt, and the Voice of America

George Allen, Jan 1948

George Allen served as the State Department’s third Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, following William Benton and Archibald MacLeish.  MacLeish, the former Librarian of Congress, was the first incumbent when the title was Assistant Secretary of State for Public and Cultural Relations. Benton dropped the “and Cultural,” which he saw as a kind of lightning rod with Congress, and changed “Relations” to “Affairs.” Throughout, however, the role was fundamentally the modern equivalent to the combined responsibilities of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy (and Public Affairs) and the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. Allen’s comments on the purpose, and temporary nature, of the Voice of America are interesting with respect to the modern interpretation of the Smith-Mundt Act.  Continue reading “Ambassador George V. Allen, Smith-Mundt, and the Voice of America