The Foreign Service Journal, December 2022

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | DECEMBER 2022 15 We should be pushing our diplomats out to the edge, to the point of friction, as it were, and that doesn’t mean bigger embassies, what it means is more points of presence. —Matt Pottinger, a deputy national security adviser during the Trump administration who now chairs the China Program at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, in interview with Politico reporter Nahal Toosi for her Oct. 23 Special Report, “‘Frustrated and powerless’: In fight with China for global influence, diplomacy is America’s biggest weakness.” Contemporary Quote T he Public Diplomacy Council of America (PDCA), a new nonprofit organization launched in April 2022, brings together State Department employees and retirees, academics, and other experts to support American public diplomacy. PDCA is a merger of the Public Diplomacy Council and Pub- lic Diplomacy Association of America, two professional organi- zations that worked in parallel for almost four decades to foster greater understanding of U.S. communication with the rest of the world and to mobilize active participation in statecraft by the American public. The new PDCA’s mission is “to encourage excellence and honor achievement in professional practice, academic study, and advocacy for public diplomacy.” Programs such as the First Monday Forums offer new insights and understanding of the concept and practice of public diplomacy, while an annual award for outstanding pub- lic diplomacy initiatives highlights best practices and honors notable achievements. Mentoring, training, and teaching activi- ties benefit current practitioners and rising professionals in a rapidly changing field. Networking events promote closer collaboration among public diplomacy profes- sionals and those with an interest in public diplomacy. PDCA also advocates for public diplomacy among members of Con- gress and the general public. The new organization’s membership comprises nearly 500 active and retired professionals as well as young colleagues who aspire to careers in the field. Members hail from foreign affairs agencies, academia, defense, media, nonprofits, and private enterprise. Dr. Sherry Mueller, a scholar-practitioner at American University, and Joel Fischman, a retired Foreign Service officer, serve as co-presidents, and Ambassador Brian Carlson serves as vice president and membership chair. PDCA is governed by a 21-member board of directors. Active-duty and retired personnel from the State Depart- ment and foreign affairs agencies are eligible to apply for mem- bership at — Joe B. Johnson, Public Diplomacy Council of America board member New Organization for Public Diplomacy Experts federal government (see the January- February 2022 FSJ ) . On Oct. 4, Senior Foreign Service Offi- cer ClintonWhite was sworn in as USAID’s new counselor, replacing Senior FSO Chris Milligan, who retired in November 2021. White brings more than 20 years of agency experience to the job, most recently serving as USAID regional representative for the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, based in Barbados. He previously held the positions of senior development adviser in Libya, deputy assistant administrator in the Bureau for Management, and regional controller at USAIDmissions in Egypt, Pakistan, Senegal, and Ghana. At White’s swearing-in, Administra- tor Samantha Power spoke of his unique ability to make vital connections: “We are looking to Clinton to strengthen our ambitious efforts, to build a more diverse agency that prizes different perspectives and nurtures diverse talent. And we seek his wisdom on how to elevate voices from the communities where we work, and dra- matically ramp up our engagement with local organizations.” Finally, on Oct. 6, the State Depart- ment announced the appointment of Dr. Kelly Fletcher as its new chief informa- tion officer (CIO). Although she has never worked for the State Department, Fletcher brings with her six years of leadership experience at the Department of Defense, where she currently serves as principal deputy CIO. She will replace Keith Jones, who left the job in June.