United States
Under Secretary of State
for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
US Department of State official seal.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Elizabeth Allen, Assistant Secretary of State 2.jpg
Incumbent
Elizabeth M. Allen (Acting)

since April 4, 2022
NominatorPresident of the United States
Inaugural holderEvelyn S. Lieberman
Formation1999
WebsiteOfficial Website

The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs is currently a top-10 ranking position[1] in the U.S. Department of State that is intended to help ensure that public diplomacy is practiced in combination with public affairs and traditional diplomacy to advance U.S. interests and security. The Under Secretary oversees three bureaus at the Department of State: Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs, and International Information Programs. Also reporting to the Under Secretary are the Office of Policy, Planning and Resources for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy.

The position was created on October 1, 1999, during the Clinton administration after Title XIII, Section 1313 of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (112 Stat. 2681-776). Section 2305 of the Act (112 Stat. 2681-825) increased the number of Under Secretaries of State from five to six. Subdivision A of the Act, also known as the Foreign Affairs Agencies Consolidation Act of 1998, abolished the United States Information Agency and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

The duties of Under Secretary were filled in an acting capacity by Michelle Giuda until her return to private industry in March of 2020.[2][3][4][5][6] After Giuda, Ulrich Brechbuhl filled in an acting capacity starting on March 3, 2020.[7] Nilda Pedrosa filled the role in an acting capacity from September 28, 2020 to January 20, 2021.[8]

As of April 4, 2022, Elizabeth M. Allen is the acting Under Secretary, by designation.[9]

Full appointments to the position require confirmation by the Senate.

From October 1, 1999, through August 29, 2019, the Under Secretary has been without a confirmed appointment 35.8% of the days. The average time between confirmed appointments is 289 days (or over 9.5 months). Looking at the last three administrations, the office was without a confirmed Under Secretary for 37.2% of the Bush Administration, 21.8% of the Obama Administration, and 89.4% of the Trump Administration (as of August 29, 2019).[10]

List of Under Secretaries of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

Name In office Image President(s) served under
Evelyn S. Lieberman October 1, 1999 – January 19, 2001
Evelyn S. Lieberman 1993.jpg
Bill Clinton
Charlotte Beers October 2, 2001 – March 28, 2003
No image.svg
George W. Bush
Margaret D. Tutwiler December 16, 2003 – June 30, 2004
Tutwilermd 175.jpg
Karen Hughes September 9, 2005 – December 14, 2007
KarenHughes.jpg
James K. Glassman June 10, 2008 – January 15, 2009
James K Glassman.JPG
Judith McHale May 26, 2009 – July 1, 2011
McHale-Judith-officialphoto 150 1.jpg
Barack Obama
Kathleen Stephens February 6, 2012 – April 4, 2012
(Acting)
Kathleen Stevens.jpg
Tara Sonenshine April 5, 2012 – July 1, 2013
Tara D. Sonenshine US State Dept photo.jpg
Richard Stengel February 11, 2014 – December 7, 2016
Richard Stengel 2014.jpg
Bruce Wharton December 8, 2016 – July 2017
(Acting)
Bruce Wharton 2011.jpg
Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Steve Goldstein December 4, 2017 – March 13, 2018
Irwin Goldstein.jpg
Donald Trump
Heather Nauert March 13, 2018 – October 10, 2018
(Acting)
Heather Nauert official photo.jpg
Michelle Giuda February 5, 2019 – March 3, 2020
(Acting by designation)
Michelle S. Giuda.jpg
Ulrich Brechbuhl March 3, 2020 – September 28, 2020
(Acting by designation)
T Ulrich Brechbuhl Official Photo.jpg
Nilda Pedrosa September 28, 2020 – January 20, 2021
(Acting by designation)
No image.svg
Jennifer Hall Godfrey January 20, 2021 – April 1, 2022
(Acting by designation)
No image.svg
Joe Biden
Elizabeth M. Allen April 4, 2022 - Present
(Acting by designation)
Elizabeth Allen, Assistant Secretary of State 2.jpg

References

  1. ^ U.S. State Department organization chart on State Dept. website
  2. ^ State Department Facebook announcement of Michelle Giuda as Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
  3. ^ State Department Instagram announcement of Michelle Giuda as Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
  4. ^ State Department Twitter announcement of Michelle Giuda as Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
  5. ^ Michelle Giuda State Department bio stating appointment
  6. ^ "Michelle Giuda rejoins Weber Shandwick as EVP of geopolitical strategy, risk".
  7. ^ "T. Ulrich Brechbuhl". 2017-2021.state.gov. Retrieved 2021-01-26.
  8. ^ "Nilda R. Pedrosa". United States Department of State. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Elizabeth M. Allen".
  10. ^ The Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs: an updated incumbency chart and some background