The term "public diplomacy" has been in quiet use for more than 40 years. For most of that time, it referred to government-sponsored initiatives such as educational exchange programs for foreign elites, media programs such as the Voice of America, and international tours by performing artists such as dance Martha Graham and musician Louis "Ambassador Satch" Armstrong.
At USC Annenberg today, we view public diplomacy much more broadly. In addition to government-sponsored programs, we study the impact of private activities – from popular culture to fashion to sports to news – that inevitably influence foreign policy and national security as well as trade, tourism and other national interests. Moreover, our points of inquiry are not limited to U.S. governmental activities, but examine public diplomacy as it pertains to a wide range of institutions and governments around the globe.
Public diplomacy is in play when a government, corporation or organization strives to promote its reputation, policies and influence beyond its own national or cultural borders. Contemporary practitioners of public diplomacy can be found in media organizations, corporate offices, classrooms, embassies and other settings around the world.About the master's degree in public diplomacyLearn more about the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg SchoolPublic diplomacy faculty bios