Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

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The Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs is in charge of the State Department's public relations and marketing work. In June 2008, James K. Glassman became the Undersecretary. Glassman is a former financial columnist, author of "Dow 36,000" and founder and long-time host of the "journo-lobbying" website Tech Central Station. [1] Glassman resigned in January 2009; the Obama administration is expected to nominate Judith McHale to replace him. [2]

Glassman's predecessor was Karen P. Hughes, a top advisor to George W. Bush and former Texas television reporter who went to work for public relations giant Burson-Marsteller after leaving the State Department. [3] Hughes appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on July 22, 2005, in support of her nomination as Undersecretary. "The session barely delved into what Hughes will do about turning around anti-American sentiment in the world," according to the Associated Press. "If I had the opportunity to say just one thing to people throughout the world, it would be, I am eager to listen," Hughes told Republican Senators Richard Lugar and George Voinovich, who were the only committee members present. "I want to learn more about you and your lives, what you believe, what you fear, what you dream, what you value most."[1] She was confirmed by the full Senate on July 29, 2005 and was sworn in on September 9, 2005.

Hughes' predecessor was former Morocco Ambassador Margaret D. Tutwiler. Tutwiler quit the position April 29, 2004, to take a position at the New York Stock Exchange.

Tutwiler's predecessor was Charlotte Beers, who took the post after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Beers was a marketing executive who had promoted Uncle Ben's rice and worked for the major ad firms J. Walter Thompson, Tatham-Lair & Kudner and Ogilvy & Mather. During her tenure, Beers launched the Shared Values ad campaign, which attempted to counteract growing anti-American sentiment in Arab countries. Beers resigned in March 2003 during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq for "health reasons."

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  1. "Biography: James K. Glassman, Under Secretary, Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs," State Department website, accessed September 2008.
  2. Laura Rozen, "Public diplomacy agonistes: Fear over the direction of 'R'," Foreign Policy blog "The Cable," February 16, 2009.
  3. Burson-Marsteller, "Karen Hughes Joins Burson-Marsteller as Global Vice Chair", Media Release, July 9, 2008.

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