About the Author: Judith McHale serves as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
Today, I had the honor of testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to tell the American people about our strategy for communicating and engaging with the people of the world. This approach acknowledges that people are connected to one another like never before and, at the same time, are becoming increasingly empowered to affect change in their own lives and in their own societies.
Diplomacy doesn't just happen between government diplomats. Diplomacy happens when a foreign student learns a new English saying from an American friend at one of our universities. Diplomacy happens when scientists from different cultures work together to discover solutions for common, global problems. Diplomacy happens when ordinary people around the world go online to urge their friends and acquaintances to donate to disaster relief to selflessly help strangers in a far-off country.
This is the work of public diplomacy. In the 21st century, we need to expand and strengthen our traditional public diplomacy tools -- and develop new ones -- to increase our influence on the world stage and, in turn, advance our national priorities.
I invite you to read my remarks to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.