Madam Secretary, we want to get aboard. We have been assured there is room for our luggage, if not our baggage.
MR. DUFFEY: We look forward to an adventurous cruise. We are going to attempt in our generation to do something new. USIA comes to the table with a commitment to that task. We need a new structure of which we can all be proud for the pursuit of America's national interest in a world that has been changed by the sobering history of the most bloody century in our millennium, by technologies that have diminished the significance of states and borders and will continue to do so, by the demands of a truly new economic order, and by the need to respond to diverse and new threats to security and social progress.
But no one should be naive about the difficulties of doing something new in government. These opportunities are not easy to come by. They rarely occur by thoughtful planning, for something there is in human nature and bureaucratic culture that approaches such change with reluctance and extreme caution and hesitation. But we must work at this task for the stakes are very high.
I think what is most in jeopardy is public trust and the diminished confidence among our citizens that we can, in fact, give a good accounting for the resources we spend in a time when there is wide bipartisan call for greater accountability in government. So we need the daring vision of a Secretary of State who has had really more experience, more intimate experience, and more study of the foreign policy requirements of this time than anyone who has held that post in recent years.
We will need candor and good faith and open minds as we explore the possibilities of new working relationships. I would not be candid today if I did not say that USIA approaches the process with some concerns, as we all do. But you should expect us to be a feisty player in the process. We have been changing our ways for four years. We know the difficulties and the rewards of doing things differently.
But our concern is not with old turf. It is not with familiar territory. What we are determined to do is to enhance the prospects for public diplomacy at a time when all diplomacy is more public than any other time in our history.
So we will contend with dogged determinism and confidence with those who confuse public diplomacy with press relations and flackery and who have not made the distinction between domestic public affairs and the engagement of foreign publics in the pursuit of the interests of the United States.
Public diplomacy is the studied attempt to understand foreign cultures and institutions so as to enhance the communication and advocacy of the national goals and interests of the United States. And public diplomacy is the active engagement in such communication based upon study and analysis and thought. It requires intense involvement with non-governmental institutions here and abroad. It involve a light touch when it comes to bureaucracy and a respect for the capacity of ordinary citizens in their local communities and institutions. It involves exchanges, programmed visits, speakers, conferences, intellectual encounters, broadcasting, and, most of all, strategic planning and not broadside public relations.
This is the professional craft and expertise that USIA will bring to the table. It is an enterprise enthusiastically understood and championed by millions of Americans and leaders of Congress over the decades and one in which the present Secretary of State has engaged for some decades with great verve and enthusiasm.
The professional diplomatic community and our foreign policy institutions would have done far better in the past and will do better in the future in pursuit of our policy goals if we pay more attention early to the strategies of public diplomacy. A closer working relationship between USIA's elements as they now exist as a part of a new Department of State holds the promise of making that possible.
It is in that spirit that I say, Admiral Albright, lead on. Our powder is dry, our sails are furled--I'm going to mix up my metaphors here--but let's do something new. We're ready to get on board.
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