PD at Risk: Protecting Access to American Centers

A new white paper has been released by the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. The piece, Public Diplomacy at Risk: Protecting Open Access for American Centers appeared online on May 5, 2015. As the authors note, the United States maintains 715 American Spaces in 153 countries around the world, including 32 American Centers, all of which enable the United States to engage with foreign citizens about American foreign policy issues, cultural programs and educational opportunities. Yet in the past 10 years, eight American Centers have been relocated from urban centers to secure compounds, with plans to move another 21 in the next decade. In an unfortunate paradox, as the American Centers become more secure, they become less accessible to the publics they were designed to serve. The report contends that American Centers must balance the need for foreign engagement with “greater risk tolerance to achieve U.S. foreign policy goals.” In turn, the report proposes four recommendations for Congress and Department of State to ensure continued engagement between American Centers and international publics.

The full report is available here

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