U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy: About the Commission

Today’s global news media and communications environment is remarkable for its speed and diversity. Until 1999, a single government agency was responsible for facilitating awareness about and shaping international public perception of the U.S. to a variety of international audiences. Today, this work is a whole-of-government affair and carried out by several agencies. There is significant opportunity for representatives of the United States, regardless of their department or agency, to improve global knowledge and understanding of our values, policies, and actions.

Since 1948, the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD) has been charged with appraising activities intended to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics and to increase the understanding of, and support for, these same activities. The ACPD conducts research that provides honest assessments of public diplomacy efforts, and disseminates findings through white papers, reports, and other publications. It also holds public symposiums that generate informed discussions on public diplomacy issues and events.

The ACPD reports to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress. Currently, the office of the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs supports it.

The ACPD was originally established as the U.S. Advisory Commission on Information under Section 604 of the United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, commonly known as the Smith-Mundt Act, as amended (22 U.S.C. 1469). In 1977, this Commission was merged with its sister Commission, the U.S. Advisory Commission on Educational Exchanges, and became the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

The ACPD's seven Members are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. They have been selected from a cross-section of professional backgrounds and serve three-year terms, although they can be reappointed. It is a bipartisan body; not more than four members are to be from any one political party. View Member bios»

The ACPD’s Executive Director oversees daily operations and works actively with the executive, legislature, NGO community, businesses, and academia to produce critical and constructive thought on how to improve the government’s public diplomacy processes and activities worldwide. View all staff bios»