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Fact Sheet - The United States Information Agency

Fact Sheet - The United States Information Agency

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Fact Sheet

The United States Information Agency
William M. Chodkowski November 2012 “Information and education are powerful forces in support of peace. Just as war begins in the minds of men, so does peace.” President Dwight Eisenhower, January 27, 19581 “The employees of USIA — Americans and Foreign Service Nationals —have been the human face of America’s public diplomacy, people-to-people diplomats in times of crisis and times of hope. You are freedom’s herald. You must tell those who have ea
Fact Sheet

The United States Information Agency
William M. Chodkowski November 2012 “Information and education are powerful forces in support of peace. Just as war begins in the minds of men, so does peace.” President Dwight Eisenhower, January 27, 19581 “The employees of USIA — Americans and Foreign Service Nationals —have been the human face of America’s public diplomacy, people-to-people diplomats in times of crisis and times of hope. You are freedom’s herald. You must tell those who have ea

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: The American Security Project on Nov 06, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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www.AmericanSecurityProject.org1100 New York Avenue, NW Suite 710W Washington, DC
Te United StatesInformation Agency 
 William M. ChodkowskiNovember 2012
“Inormation and education are powerul orces in support o peace. Just as war begins in the minds o men, so does peace.” 
President Dwight Eisenhower
, January 27, 1958
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“Te employees o USIA — Americans and Foreign Service Nationals —have beenthe human ace o America’s public diplomacy, people-to-people diplomats in times o crisis and times o hope. You are reedom’s herald. You must tell those who have earned their reedom and those still yearning to be ree that we support their battle  or liberty, democracy and dignity.” 
President Bill Clinton
, USIA’s 40th anniversary, 1993
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 What was USIA?: Overview, Mission, Structure
Te United States Inormation Agency (USIA) was anindependent executive agency responsible or Americanpublic diplomacy, most centrally during the Cold Warperiod.USIA was the largest ull-service public relations orga-nization in the world, with an annual budget over $500million in the 1980s, which eclipsed $1 billion in theyears directly ater the all o the Berlin Wall.
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 It presided over U.S. government communications toover 150 populations internationally during the heighto the Cold War.
William M. Chodkowski is an Adjunct Junior Fellow at the American Security Project 
 
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 AMERICAN SECURITY PROJECT
Mission
:
to understand, inorm and inuence oreign publics in promotion o the national interest, and tobroaden the dialogue between Americans and U.S. institutions, and their counterparts abroad.Specically, this mission is carried out through our distinct unctions:
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1. Explain and advocate U.S. policies in terms that are credible and meaningul in oreign cultures2. Provide inormation about the ocial policies o the United States, and about the people, values, andinstitutions which inuence those policies3. Bring the benets o international engagement to American citizens and institutions by helping thembuild strong long-term relationships with their counterparts overseas4. Advise the President and U.S. government policy-makers on the ways in which oreign attitudes willhave a direct bearing on the eectiveness o U.S. policies
Legislative Precursors
Following World War II, Congress acknowledged the need or the ederal government to communicate withoreign populations, continuing the wartime exchange o inormation into a permanent, peacetime practice.Tis concept, coined as “public diplomacy” by Edmund Gullion in 1965, includes activities such as interna-tional broadcasting, publication o materials, cultural/educational/technical exchanges, and other inormationdissemination tactics.
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Te Smith-Mundt Act o 1948 established the mission o public diplomacy within the purview o the StateDepartment’s Oce o Public Aairs.Tis statute was the policy outcome o a Senate Foreign Relations Committeereport and bipartisan Smith-Mundt Commission ndings aimed to combat“weapons o alse propaganda and misinormation” against oreign popula-tions.
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Voice o America, a wartime creation, was transerred to State as a permanent media outlet or US communication to oreign populations. Teact also strengthened the cultural exchange Fulbright Program (later to beoverseen by USIA) as a tool o public diplomacy.In 1953, President Eisenhower appointed Te President’s Committee on In-ternational Inormation Activities to study the global eects o propaganda and its relation to U.S. national security.Te “Jackson Committee” subsequently recommended the establishment o a permanent agency responsible or the strategic dissemination o an Americanmessage to oreign peoples – which would be the role o USIA as created by Executive Order 10477 later in 1953.
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Te Foreign Relations Authorization Act o 1972, an amendment to Smith-Mundt, expressly prohibited ed-eral bureaucracies (not including the DoD) rom domestic dissemination o inormation in general, which was a task set aside or Congress, the American media, and academia.
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 USIA, as the instrument o American public diplomacy, was later specically prohibited rom disseminating its oreign message to American citizens. Te “Zorinsky Amendment,” passed in 1985, ormally banned USIA and its media arms rom domestic dissemination activities.
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Specic media channels were utilized to spread the intended message to the target audience abroad.
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USIA  was the domestic moniker or the agency. It was known abroad as the United States Inormation Service(USIS).
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Personnel
 Ater personnel reductions in 1997, USIAs employment totaled 6,352.O those 6,352 USIA employees:
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•
904 Americans were Foreign Service personnel
•
2,521 were locally-hired Foreign Service nationals
•
2,927 were domestically-based civil servants
•
1,822 in international broadcasting; 1,105 employed or educational & inormational programsBy FY1999, Foreign Service Ocer (FSO) deployments overseas had been reduced to 520 FSOs dispersedamong 190 posts in 142 countries.
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USIA FSO personnel were placed abroad in conjunction with the State Department’s deployments.FSO deployments typically consisted o three major ocers per country: the public aairs ocer (PAO),inormation ocer (IO), and cultural aairs ocer (CAO).Te PAO was the senior public aairs strategy and implementation advisor to the ambassador, while the IOand CAO were subordinates, reporting to the PAO.
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Te sta was typically stationed at the embassy or, security allowing, at other o-site outposts within thecapital or major cities. Work sites could be permanent (i.e.: USIA libraries/Inormation Resource Centers) or temporary locationsassociated with a given campaign.
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