Faceless Leadership of American Public Diplomacy: HR Crisis in the Post-Bipolar Era

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-12-33-39
U. Artamonova, artamonova.u@imemo.ru
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 11.05.2021.

Abstract. This article focuses on workforce policies trends in the American public diplomacy institutions. The author compares tendencies regarding HR policy, e. g. frequency of leadership change, length of timespans between nominations, the ratio of acting and confirmed nominees during the age of the United Stated Information Agency (USIA) and after its disbandment in 1999. Comparison demonstrates a considerable change of patterns: since 1999, persons in charge of the American public diplomacy institutions have been rotating more often, and positions themselves stayed vacant longer than they did in the 20th century. There have been many acting nominees during the past decade, whereas in the time of the USIA there has been none. In addition, the article studies characteristics of both the USIA directors and Under Secretaries of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. The analysis of education, professional background, personal relationship with the U. S. President (or the lack of it) demonstrated that standards for the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs position applicants are significantly lower than the ones that were applied to candidates for the directorship of the USIA. With the results obtained, the author arrived to a conclusion that the change of HR policy in the American public diplomacy sphere indicates the lack of interest in the particular dimension of foreign policy among the political leadership of the U.S. in comparison to the age of the Cold War. This conclusion agrees with the fact that since 1990s, the American public diplomacy remains in crisis: no major reforms of institutions since 1999, unsuccessful attempts to develop a comprehensive strategic document for public diplomacy, frequent piques of anti-Americanism in the international public opinion in the 21st century. The article argues that the absence of a prominent leader in the American public diplomacy who would have stayed in the office for considerable amount of time, been a confidant of the President and thus an active participant of the formation of a national political vision, possessed outstanding professional experience, is both the consequence of the crisis in the U.S. public diplomacy and the factor that contributes to this crisis remaining unsolved.

Keywords: public diplomacy, soft power, USA, world order, global leadership, HR policy, USIA, State Department, Cold War


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For citation:
Artamonova U. Faceless Leadership of American Public Diplomacy: HR Crisis in the Post-Bipolar Era. World Eсonomy and International Relations, 2021, vol. 65, no. 12, pp. 33-39. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2021-65-12-33-39

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