Nicholas Kralev talks to Judith A. McHale, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy, about the Obama administration’s outreach to foreign publics and what it’s doing differently from the Bush administration.


Ms. McHale talks about how she has reorganized the undersecretary’s office, bureaucratically known as “R,” and why she is adding seven deputy assistant secretary positions — one in public affairs and six in the State Department’s regional bureaus.


Ms. McHale talks about attitudes toward public diplomacy in the Foreign Service and the consequences of the 1999 merger of the State Department and the U.S. Information Agency (USIA).


Ms. McHale talks about the Obama administration’s shift of public diplomacy focus to play down the Bush administration’s emphasis on countering violent extremist, which she says risks “offending people by creating the impression that we think they” might become terrorists.