under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs

As Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, it has been my honor and privilege to lead our country’s vibrant engagement with the world. As I move on, I do so with an unshakeable belief, constantly reaffirmed during my 14 months here: People matter in ways they never have before. Thanks in large part to connective technology, they are communicating, sharing ideas, influencing others, growing businesses, and improving their lives in ways that were previously unimaginable.

“When we speak to one another, engage to one another, etc., we’re engaging in public diplomacy,” she said. Sonenshine said that the term applies to everything, ranging from a Russian athlete talking to a U.S. physical education expert to countering violent extremism.

On Monday, Sept. 10, the recently appointed Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Tara Sonenshine visited Drake to talk about the importance of International Student Exchange... During the discussion, Sonenshine focused on the benefits of both Americans studying abroad and international students coming to America, who serve not only as foreign ambassadors, but as large contributors to our economy.

This week, Tara Sonenshine was formally sworn-in as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs by Secretary Clinton. Secretary Clinton’s introductory remarks were personal, insightful, and deeply supportive of public diplomacy and of Tara.

She will serve as the Department’s senior public diplomacy official, overseeing the bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Public Affairs, and International Information Programs, and participates in foreign policy development.

It is a new beginning down at Foggy Bottom. Tara becomes only the seventh Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs since the job was created upon the merger of USIA into the Department in 1999.

Just before heading out of town, the Senate confirmed dozens of Obama administration appointments, including a host of ambassadors and several top officials at Foggy Bottom. Among the newly confirmed appointees are Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy Tara Sonenshine...

Also confirmed was Mike Hammer as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs (he’s been “Acting” all this time). A list of all confirmations for the State Department, Ambassadors and Assistant Secretaries, including for the Bureau of Conflict and Stability Operations, is below.