March 1988 - Public Diplomacy: Lessons from the Washington Summit


Commission Members:
Edwin J. Feulner, Jr.
Tom C. Korologos
Priscilla L. Buckley
Hershey Gold
Richard M. Scaife
Herbert Schmertz

Staff: Bruce Gregory, Staff Director; Karl Fritz, Deputy Staff Director


The Commission emphasized the strategic importance of public diplomacy (particularly in summit statecraft) and laid out several findings based on President Reagan’s successful U.S.-Soviet summit in Washington. The Commissioners emphasized a recent shift toward more favorable European public opinion of U.S. foreign policy as a result of public diplomacy activities.


President Reagan’s broadcasts on the Voice of America and Worldnet prior to the Washington summit and Secretary Shultz’s interviews at USIA’s Foreign Press Center were notable examples of successful high-level participation in summit public diplomacy.

In the case of Washington Summit, favorable European public opinion toward the U.S. position on INF was perceived as vital to Senate ratification of the INF Treaty, since the weapons themselves were based in Western Europe.