Opening Windows of Opportunity

Reference work entry

Nicholas J. Cull assesses the Hillary Clinton effect on US Public Diplomacy.

American diplomacy is highly susceptible to changes in its leadership. Other Western states are not nearly so volatile. Whatever the quality of diplomats in the field, in the United States the scramble for resources from the legislature, the battle to be heard at the policy-making table and the ability to corral one’s own bureaucracy or manage an ever-tricky inter-agency process rests on the personality at the top.

In the old days of the United States Information Agency (USIA)—the one–stop shop for American public diplomacy from 1953–1999—fortunes rose and fell with the choice of leader. The last golden age of that agency rested on Charles Z. Wick and more particularly, on his friendship with President Reagan. Equally, USIA’s decline can be tracked to the leadership problems of his successors. In the years since USIA was taken into the Department of State, the leadership of American diplomacy has flowed from...


  1. Cull, Nicholas J., ‘The end of the Hillary Clinton era in US public diplomacy’ in Place Branding and Public Diplomacy (volume 9, Issue 1). Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Personalised recommendations