Top U.S. public diplomacy official seeks to explain ‘return on investment’

The State Department needs to “do a better job” of explaining to Americans what it does overseas, as well as the “return on investment” in America’s diplomatic activities, Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Tara Sonenshine says on this week’s episode of “Conversations with Nicholas Kralev.”

“After all, the taxpayer is the Board of Governors here,” Sonenshine says. She compares public diplomacy to “a giant extension cord wrapping around the world” that “takes U.S. policies, ideals and values and extends them to actual citizens” of other countries.

Sonenshine, who leaves her post July 1 after less than 15 months in it, also talks about why getting public diplomacy right has been a challenge for Washington, and about comforting the family of Anne Smedinghoff, 25, when her body was brought home from Afghanistan, where she was killed in April while serving as a public diplomacy officer.

> Back to the show’s main page

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.