Washington -- As the Clinton Administration begins to implement
its plan to integrate the Department of State, the U.S.
Information Agency, and the Arms Control and Disarmament
Agency, it will be guided by four principles, Secretary of
State Madeleine Albright said during a "Town Meeting" with
employees of those agencies April 29.
MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT, Secretary of State
PATRICK K. KENNEDY, Assistant Secretary Bureau of Administration
JOSEPH DUFFEY, Director, USIA
J. BRIAN ATWOOD, Administrator, USAID
JOHN HOLUM, Director, ACDA
MR. KENNEDY: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all very much for coming. And since you did not come to hear me speak, let me just begin then by introducing the Secretary of State.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you all very much. Thank you all for that nice greeting, and thank you all very much for coming.
As you know, the President has announced a plan for reorganizing our foreign affairs agencies. His decision resulted from a deliberative process that involved ACDA, USIA, and AID, and the Department of State.
I support the plan, as do my colleagues, and our purpose this morning is to explain why and to answer your questions as best we can at this very early stage in the plan's implementation.
The current structure of our foreign affairs agencies reflects the needs of an era that no longer exists. Almost every aspect of our foreign policy has been affected by the end of the Cold War and by the steady advance of technology. Some even argue that these developments have made our entire diplomatic establishment obsolete. I clearly don't have much to say to those people because that is obviously nonsense. But there is no denying that a transformed world requires a transformed diplomacy.
As Secretary of State, I have picked up where Secretary Christopher left off in making a strong case for adequate funding for American foreign policy. Brian Atwood, John Holum, and Joe Duffey have done the same thing, and we have been telling our story over and over again on the Hill and directly to the American people. And I really do believe we are making headway.
But in this era, it is not enough to tell Congress and the public that what we do matters. We have to show that we are willing to adapt our institutions to get the best possible results at the least possible cost.
We have to minimize duplication and show zero tolerance for waste, and we have to welcome accountability. And we have to instill in everyone who works with us the clear understanding that we are being paid not to spend our time serving institutions, but to make our institutions serve the times.
During the past few years, impressive reform efforts have been made at each of the four agencies. The leadership and employees of each have demonstrated their commitment to improved performance, but we would not be honest with ourselves if we did not admit that redundancies still exist and reengineering is still required.
The President's plan centers around the concept of integration and streamlining which is where sound management begins. During the first year, ACDA will be fully integrated into a reformed State Department. By the end of the second, USIA will be integrated. AID will remain a distinct agency under the direct authority of the Secretary while merging certain administrative and public affairs functions with the Department.
As we implement this plan, we will bear in mind several guiding principles:
First, the reorganization should enhance, not detract from, our effectiveness in fulfilling the critical core missions of ACDA, USIA, and AID. These missions are critical to America's national interests and to the success of our foreign policy.
Second, the reorganization should occur in phases, taking into account the immediate importance of reforming the State Department itself, the relative complexity of other agencies, and the need to preserve unique capabilities.
Third, we will consult regularly with the appropriate committees of Congress.
Finally, we will strive to minimize disruptions in your lives and careers to the extent we can, consistent with the overall goals of this reorganization. We cannot succeed if we ignore the human dimension. We must make full use of your skills while training and retraining to develop new skills. And we must have your input and participation and that of your colleagues now stationed overseas.
Starting now we will be creating specialized units to address specific issues and develop action plans. These teams will draw on employees from all four agencies, both civil service and foreign service. A system will also be set up to solicit and receive comments from those not serving on the teams. In addition, we will be working closely with the unions that represent our employees. A core group, headed by Pat Kennedy, the Acting Under Secretary of State, and Management, will coordinate the effort.
We intend to complete the action plan within 120 days. That's not a lot of time to design the most far-reaching reorganization of our foreign policy institutions in 50 years. But I consider it a firm target. We have and we should seize the historic opportunity to reshape and reinvigorate the way we conduct our foreign affairs.
Before I came here today, it was suggested by someone who shall remain nameless that I urge you to ask not what this plan will do for you, but what it will do for our country. I cannot and do not expect you to put aside personal anxieties, but I do ask that you focus not only on them. If we work together and do this job right, we will have more success in winning congressional and public support for our engagement overseas. We will have a foreign policy apparatus that functions better, faster, and more flexibly. We will have greater success in meeting the foreign affairs challenges of the next century. And we will have served our country very, very well.
The days ahead will not be easy, but we will do all we can to minimize confusion, maximize transparency, establish unity, and achieve an outcome in which we can all take pride. Towards that end, I pledge my own best effort and solicit your wise counsel and support.
I now would like to turn to John Holum to begin the remarks by my other colleagues and then respond to all your questions. John?
MR. HOLUM: Again, I'd like to thank Secretary Albright for her openness to creative solutions in redesigning our foreign affairs agencies. Last week's magnificent success on the chemical weapons convention shows how the foreign policy structure works best. Our voice is strongest and clearest when we join together.
The thought of being ACDA's last Director is painful. This is a small agency with a large purpose and a mighty legacy. At our 35th anniversary last year, I observed what a privilege it is to walk in the footsteps of giants and also to stand shoulder to shoulder with them every day.
But having spent a good deal of time on survival over the last several years, I also stand here totally convinced that the President's decision will materially strengthen the arms control non-proliferation and disarmament missions and the entire foreign affairs structure. That will happen in major part because Secretary Albright is deeply committed to this mission and has shown it tangibly, not only by making arms control and non- proliferation central to her public service and now to the Department of State, but by stressing the importance of independent arms control advocacy, including from within the Department, when arms control and diplomacy may be at odds.
The President's decision at once saves what has been most crucial to ACDA's historic value and yet adds what has been most needed--a spirit of teamwork and elevation of arms control and non-proliferation within the Department. And these missions will be strengthened because there are giants in this work in the State Department, too. I know that personnel and PM and elsewhere in State approach the coming months with as much trepidation as many in ACDA do. It's probably fair to say that we have unsettled everyone equally with almost mathematical precision.
But this is not about displacing or downgrading people. Indeed, we have been working together for two years, under the Vice President's leadership, to address duplication and overlap, and there's precious little of it. Now our task is to fill in the details of the President and Vice President's decision and still keep advancing what the President has described as the most ambitious agenda to dismantle and fight the spread of weapons of mass destruction since the atom was split.
In other words, we are going to rebuild the airplane while we are still flying in the middle of a race. That will require our best talents and energies. It will require an unyielding commitment to a safer world and to cooperation and its pursuit, not with our elbows out but with our arms linked.
Given all we've accomplished together over the last several years, there is no doubt we will succeed. Thank you.
MR. KENNEDY: Our next speaker is Brian Atwood, the Administrator of AID.
MR. ATWOOD: It's nice to have vision, but it's also nice to be able to see.
Thank you. Madam Secretary, we have heard your message, and we are prepared to make this process of reorganization work for you and for our country. What we are about to undertake is of vital importance not only to the foreign policy leaders of today, but also to those who will follow in the 21st century. For we are about to create the foreign affairs architecture that will serve our country for at least--at least two decades.
President Kennedy once said, "The purpose of foreign policy is to shape real events in a real world." The reorganization framework announced by the President acknowledges the global change we have been struggling with on a daily basis. It confirms the importance of the diplomatic, development, public diplomacy, and arms control missions. It is a framework that considers carefully the uniqueness of each of these missions and recommends their organizational position in support of our overall foreign policy.
Now it is up to us to transform a framework into functioning organizations. It is up to us to put aside the narrower goals we pursued during a very difficult decision process and make the President's framework a living reality.
We at USAID can offer some advice about radical organizational change. I can tell you that it is anxiety- producing, but it need not lead to a nervous breakdown. Several principles have helped our agency change over the last four years. Most importantly, we went out of our way to involve people at all levels in the analysis of what was needed and the implementation of the plan. Second, we were open about our intentions and also open about our uncertainties. Bureaucratic paranoia is a common state in the best of times. In times of change, paranoia affects everyone, and open communication is the only antidote.
Third, we wanted people to understand that reform was a constant companion and not a one-time thing. We remain open to suggestions for positive change even today, after all we have been through. Change is a part of the real world President Kennedy referred to, and it is something with which we all need to live. It is inevitable, and it can even be invigorating.
Madam Secretary, let me add a final thought to help us along this path. Different bureaucratic cultures exist at State, USAID, USIA, and ACDA. We who are associated with the Foreign Service make it a point to understand the nuances of other cultures. We are fully capable of applying our professional skills to this endeavor, and we must. But this reorganization will fail if it is seen as an attempt to achieve cultural assimilation, a common culture for very different missions. We need a learning experience wherein development professionals come to appreciate the special skills of diplomats and vice versa, where arms control specialists come to appreciate the talents of those who practice public diplomacy. Only in this way can we build the cohesive team we need for today's real world.
For our part, USAID looks forward to achieving a new partnership with our colleagues from the other agencies. While under the President's decision we will remain a separate agency under the authority of the Secretary of State, we know we can achieve even more in undertaking our sustainable development and humanitarian missions if we can for a new partnership based on mutual respect and shared goals.
Madam Secretary, you have made it clear that sustainable development is an important part of your foreign policy. You and I have the benefit of a two-decades-old friendship. I have no doubts that this partnership will work to the advantage of our nation's foreign policy.
Thank you very much.
MR. DUFFEY: I searched last night for some metaphor or piece of poetry for this occasion. I turned to the great American philosopher, Dr. Seuss, and one friend suggested it might be, "I do not like green eggs and ham." But I did remember a poem I learned as a child, most of you learned. The lines were, "Thou too sail on, O Ship of State, sail on, O Union, strong and great."
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.
MR. KENNEDY: We have time in the program for a number of questions.
For those of you who might have questions, I would ask if you could go to the microphones because this is being taped by both the State Department and by USIA for our colleagues in other buildings and around the world, and the microphones will give us as chance to have them hear you as well.
MR. KENNEDY: As if there was any doubt.
MR. HARRIS: Madam Secretary, we thank you very much both for the substance and the style of bringing us together, not only the people here but the people on the B Net in the building and the people on Worldnet around the world. We're delighted to work for you, and we look forward at the end of four years of your tenure here to have major accomplishments in the area of foreign policy and major accomplishments for you as the chief executive officer of America's foreign policy to have an organization which much better serves the people of the United States and our interests.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Now you say, "Having said that..."
MR. HARRIS: Having said that, AFSA is the--
MR. HARRIS: Is the voice of the Foreign Service, and we have a number of questions here, and I'll interject whenever you have a spare moment in the questions.
The AFSA Board sent me with three messages: first is transparency; second is participation; and third is thanks. The transparency and participation are clear. We think the process, in order to work, has got to have the involvement and the smarts of all the employees in all the agencies to make it work. We not only need the fine rhetoric that Brian Atwood has given us, but we really need the openness and we need the participation and the communication mechanisms back and forth.
Our thanks is very much for you on that very busy desk, which has got China, Russia, the Middle East, all the other issues on it, to have a dedicated part of that desk space and in your mind and in your calendar to spend time on the critical issues for American foreign policy involved in resources and involved in reorganization, and we thank you for that.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much.
MR. SHAPIRO: Thank you. I'm Howard Shapiro from the USIA, and I'd like to address a question about USIA to either you, Madam Secretary, or to the Director.
In your opening remarks, you said the first of your guiding principles would be that the reorganization would enhance our mission. And the Director during his remarks said he would like to see a structure of which we could all be proud. And I think I and a number of my colleagues at USIA would like to know more specifically what about the current structure or our current way of doing things you find most troubling and what needs to be reformed the most.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me just start out by saying I think that the whole issue here, not just for USIA but for all of us, is basically that we do not have an overall foreign policy structure that is flexible and streamlined enough to deal with all the issues that we are facing as we deal--as we look at the 21st century. And it is not any one particular issue that is troublesome, but it is more the fact that we are not integrated enough to do the job right. So that rather than being able to have in some cases what I would call one-stop shopping, we are back the way that the Soviet Union was where you have to go to 15 different places to get anything done and it takes a very long time in terms of the way that they used to shop.
I think that the issue here is for us to have a much more integrated system so that our public diplomacy experts are there within the bureaus to give advice on exactly the kinds of things that Director Duffey was talking about, of how to be able to engage properly with other countries, dealing with their cultures in a way that is good for U.S. interests. So it's more a matter of bringing the various elements that we have within a remarkable foreign affairs bureaucracy together so that it is much more effective and we can do a better job.
Joe, do you want to--
MR. DUFFEY: Let me say that I think it is-- there's a complementary need here. It's inevitable in this building, with the immediate crises and obligations of ongoing diplomacy, that longer-term relationships don't get the attention that they deserve. At USIA, there is a tendency occasionally to get so involved in the longer-term relationships that we don't think about the strategic planning for a number of objectives that we seek.
Edward R. Murrow once said that if he was going to be in on the landings, he wanted to be in on the takeoff. I think in a time when we need far more focus and thought about public diplomacy, not treating it simply as a general rubric but as a strategy, closer working together in one organization or institution can be a great benefit to the exercise of public diplomacy.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: It cannot be an afterthought. It has to be part of the beginning of the strategic thinking. I think that is a very important point.
MS. RICHARD: My name is Ann Richard from the State Department, and I would like to, with all due respect, challenge Brian Atwood's mention of a different bureaucratic culture between AID and the State Department, because I work with people at AID all the time and I really like them. And--
MS. RICHARD: I think it's a mistake to dwell on the different culture for two reasons: one, within State, if you walk the halls, you see a lot of different cultures, from the tree huggers in OES to the human rights folks in DRL(?), and you take a corner and all of a sudden you're in the middle of PM and everybody's got short haircuts.
MS. RICHARD: Go over to Columbia Plaza and they're wearing, you know, their Birkenstocks. And within the seven years I've been here, I've seen, like INL, when I first got here, I thought, my God, these people are all jungle adventurers with their own air wing. But lately, if you go to INL, there's a lot of younger people, there's a lot of women, there's a lot of Latin American specialists. Cultures can change, and I don't think that people are wed to their culture. I think that within State we all work with each other when we have to. So that's--
MS. RICHARD: --the first point. And the second point is I think there's a lot more commonality that brings us together in that we are public servants who think that being in government can make a positive difference in the world. And if you don't feel that way, I don't think you come to these agencies in the first place.
So I really--you know, I have a tremendous respect for you, Mr. Atwood, but I think that it's a mistake to emphasize that. I just--I don't see where that gets us.
MR. ATWOOD: Well, Ann, all I--
MR. ATWOOD: Ann, I think you probably missed my message, but you repeated it because, as you suggested, there are different cultures even inside State. There certainly are inside AID, and inside all of the organizations, I suppose. It depends on what the function is. I mean, the humanitarian disaster relief people inside AID are very different, frankly, from the long-term development specialists inside AID. The point is that you have to try to understand the orientation if you're going to be able to work as a team.
That's all I was suggesting here, is that we not try to create one culture because it is the professions that we need that understand these missions to work together to achieve the team that the Secretary wants to achieve. So I think in the way you described your difference with me, you basically were agreeing that there are different cultures. All I was suggesting is that we need to better understand what these professions are within the foreign affairs community so that we can work more closely together.
MS. HENLEY: My name is Cheryl Henley. I'm with USIA, and I'd like to know how do you plan to accomplish this consolidation, streamline, reduce duplication, all within two years?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well--
MS. HENLEY: Without job losses.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, we are very efficient.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me say that I think it's very important, first of all, to make two points: that we do have a target date, it's essential that we stay with that; two, that we are going to be working a process in the next 120 days that will create a road map, a plan in order to accomplish this. And we will all be soliciting advice from you. It has to be a transparent process. It has to be one that does have a plan and a target date; otherwise, it will never happen. And Pat Kennedy, as I said, will be leading the group and will be giving you many more details on how these targets will be accomplished.
I don't know, Pat, if you'd like to say a little bit more right now.
MR. KENNEDY: Basically, we have been talking with our other agency colleagues about a structure which will consist of planning teams and a series of task forces. And we believe that by breaking the subject down into, in effect, bite-sized morsels and involving people from all agencies and all the specialties and the technical abilities that we have, that we can come up with a plan in 120 days. It will obviously have to be fleshed out and certain additional implementation measures needed, but I have every confidence that we can do it because I believe, as the Secretary has said before, the greatest strength in the foreign affairs community is in our colleagues and in our people and in ourselves. And if we put this together, if we put our minds to it, we can do it.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Could I just say, the way we're going to do it is with your help. And I think that the very best--I wish the logo people would get to work and do John's statement, without elbows out but arms linked. I think that should be our motto, not an acronym because God knows what it would end up being.
MR. KENNEDY: I couldn't pronounce it.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: But I think it will be a matter--I can't emphasize enough that the only way this is going to happen is with your cooperation. That is vital to making it succeed.
MR. KENNEDY: The woman in the back, please?
MS. DAVIS: I'm Adelphis Davis, and I'm with USAID. And I know Mr. Atwood remembers me. But what I am-- I am here to ask and almost beg the four of you to realize that we have people at the working level. There are people in these agencies that work hard to make the four of you look good. So I want you to really, really take those comments in mind. Take their comments in mind.
I just survived the AID RIF. I don't know if that was good or bad.
MS. DAVIS: There were five people in my office that were RIF'd. I have assumed the responsibilities of all of them. I have had a pat on my shoulder saying that you do good work. But I've been around this agency long enough to know there's a thin line between being good and being used.
So what I wanted to do is that in order to make this work, you have got to listen to the people at the working level. I will be off this ship in another year, but I'm not the type of person that will jump off and don't worry about the ship going down. There are people here that I will be leaving here that really need to be heard. They're honest, hard-working people, and I want them to be considered, not be used.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I have to say that every minute of the day I realize how many of you are out there making me look good, and I appreciate it deeply. And I can assure you that the people at the working level, although I kind of think everybody's at the working level, will be considered. This is not a RIF. This is an attempt to make our foreign policy structure work better. And I hope none of you even think for one millisecond that we don't know how much those of us that have the honor of representing all of you, how much we depend on everything that you do.
MR. KENNEDY: The lady in the front, please?
QUESTION: Madam Secretary, it was a relief to hear you echoing Director Duffey's comments about the strategic nature of public diplomacy, because the structure seems to suggest that public diplomacy is nothing more than the sum of our exchange's activity plus some public affairs types that can be sprinkled around different bureaus at State. And most of us who have worked a long time in public diplomacy see our job as developing a strategy, implementing that strategy, and evaluating that strategy to support foreign policy goals, which is much more than the sum of the instruments we use. And we also see our job as not necessarily country- or region-specific, but to be able to implement a policy that's worldwide, to support worldwide public diplomacy goals--public affairs goals.
So I just ask if there is a structure, a post- consolidation structure that you see that would preserve this core function, the strategic function of public diplomacy.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Well, since I regard it as a highly important component of what we are doing as we move forward here in terms of working out the detailed plans, we want to assure ourselves that this strategic aspect of public diplomacy is well integrated into what we are doing.
As Director Duffey said, I have been involved in public diplomacy in one form or another my entire life, and I believe very much in the strategic concept of its use worldwide. So we will--these are the kinds of issues that we're going to have to deal with to make sure that that is preserved.
MR. KENNEDY: This will have to be the final question. The lady down front?
MS. CASTILLO: Okay. This is going to be a long final question. Sorry. My name is Oilda del Castillo, in USIA, design and technical assistance branch chief.
First of all, I admired what I heard this morning about working together for better diplomacy for the United States. I think that that has been our separate goals, and Mr. Atwood said we are different cultures in the sense we all deal with different kinds of problems. Now we have to focus on dealing together.
Trying to keep--maybe this is a request, that from now on all the planning, all the teams, have to be transparent. For USIA employees, it was very disappointing that we find out Friday morning in the newspaper that we were going to be merged, consolidated, integrated--whatever words you want to use. It was not until 4 o'clock in the afternoon when we got in the e-mail a copy of the White House statement. So I think that that has to be completely improved on and any stage on the planning be open.
MS. CASTILLO: The different teams that are needed to accomplish this task should be made publicly, announced openly so everybody that has a concern or an idea can get to them and put it on the table for discussion.
MR. KENNEDY: That will happen.
MS. CASTILLO: Okay. Thank you very much.
There is concern about at least what the regulations are now, and we were told informally that the USIA side, the agency is being absorbed or being joined to another agency is the one that has to produce the RIF. And that will require a case of special attention maybe in dealing with the Office of Personnel Management, but we should look at the reorganization of the management structure of the new Department of State in the overall picture and what is the experience that these people that are being joined can offer as going through already, because we have been reforming the management in USIA for the last two years or three. So we have experience already that can be very valuable to the new team working on this.
There are people that could retire in two or three years. If they are RIF'd, the way the regulations are now, they will lose their right for full retirement. That is another option that has also to be taken into consideration in dealing with the regulations.
I have a specific question. I'm going to read this because it was given to me. At this point, even though no one yet knows which specific positions will be considered surplus, we employees must look ahead realistically to the consolidation of the staff, some of whom may come to be identified as surplus. Therefore, could USIA employees now be covered under the provision of the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan, ICTAP? This will include a certification of expected separation or other documentation identifying one as surplus. Such priority placement would be certainly useful for those who choose to begin applying for other government jobs?
As I said, this was a question given to me as being brought for your consideration in future dealings.
MR. KENNEDY: That's a very good question. It is obviously a question that I can't give you an answer on right now because the predicate is that we are going to have surplus individuals. You heard the Secretary of State say we are--the goal here is not layoffs. The goal here is to integrate the best people in the government together to build a better foreign policy structure for the future, and, therefore, the goal is not to have what you said happen. And to assume that that is what is going to happen I think would be a mistake, because I know from talking to my four superiors, that is not their goal.
MS. CASTILLO: Okay. And my last statement and question, in a way--and it is something concerning me--by being a foreigner before I was an American citizen, by traveling around the world doing my job, I am concerned about the impact that changing the status of USIS(?) overseas will cost to your public diplomacy. We say the Cold War is ended, but we have some other wars still to fight. We have drugs. We have Mafias. We have the democratization. We have many things in which still the world today is at fight. And by closing the doors that USIS has always opened to the people of these countries and change, we are now a State Department, is going to be a big difference. I really would like to ask again, take consideration how this is going to be implemented in the future.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Let me say, first of all, that the mission is not going to change. The United States will continue to have a variety of ways of dealing with foreign publics. I have to tell you that as somebody who went abroad a lot under USIA auspices when I was a professor, you go into many embassies and it's in the same building, and you just either turn right or turn left. And I think that one should remember that the most important thing here is to preserve the possibility of Americans talking to other countries about our own culture and about the public diplomacy aspects of our policy.
So we're going to be looking at various ways not to undercut the mission. That is the major part that we're going to be working on, not just as far as USIA is concerned but the other agencies as we integrate to make sure that the missions not become lost, on the contrary that they become central to what the State Department or the foreign policy machinery of the United States should be doing.
Pat, if this is the final--
MR. KENNEDY: Yes, this is the final question.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much. Let me say that what I'm hearing here today I take very seriously, and we will all be talking about this a great deal more over the coming months. John Holum said that he hadn't thought that he might be the last Director of ACDA. If I behave myself right, I will be the last Secretary of State of the 20th century. I believe that it is very important for us to assume the responsibility that we have all been given of taking this magnificent country into the next century and doing it in a way where American ideals and principles can best be represented abroad and best be explained to the American people at home.
In order to do that, we have to fix ourselves. I have spent the last four years in New York being one of you. And in that guise, I have looked two different ways: one, having to deal with the bureaucracy that you all are a part of, and understanding myself that it's sometimes hard to figure out how it works, that there is redundancy. And I bet every one of you at a different time has said to yourselves, I don't get it, why is X doing exactly the same thing I am, but he or she is in a different building, and I don't understand how it goes together.
At the same time that I have wondered how we all worked, I have quite aggressively told everybody else in every other country how they ought to work.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I had the gall to sit in New York and tell the United Nations that it needed to reform itself inside and out or we wouldn't pay our money. So I think it behooves us to take a look inside and figure out how to make this all work better.
The structures here were set up in various phases during the height of the Cold War. We are blessed to have that war over. We now need to structure ourselves to deal with a different kind of world, one in which arms control will be central to the message, one in which long-term sustainable development will be central to the message, and one in which public diplomacy will be involved in a strategic way in helping us to plan how to deliver a message and receive a message from abroad.
So I ask you all to give this your best shot. We've got to do it if we are going to represent this nation properly as we move into the 21st century. I want this process to be transparent, I sure want it to be collegial, and most of all, with your help, I want it to work.
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