The term public diplomacy has only recently reached the American lexicon but has not obtained a definitive interpretation. This essay attempts to present a definition based on history and practical usage. It traces the public diplomacy program from its beginnings, explains its application, and describes some of its successes. It stresses the point that even the best public diplomacy programs cannot succeed if a country.s policies are rejected by foreign publics. The essay recommends that the director of the public diplomacy program be invited to the table when overall foreign policies are formulated.

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