Yesterday, Elizabeth Allen was confirmed with bipartisan support by the U.S. Senate as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. In her new role, Allen will oversee the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and the Bureau of Global Public Affairs (GPA).
In her testimony to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations earlier this year, Allen emphasized the benefits of people-to-people diplomacy on the U.S.: “Public diplomacy benefits us here at home as well. International students added $32 billion to the U.S. economy last year, and American exchange program participants are returning with marketable skills that make them more competitive for 21st-century jobs. International visitors on our programs engage communities across our country, while the Gilman Scholarship helps underserved Americans study abroad. And if confirmed, I want to better communicate the benefits of foreign policy to our fellow Americans – who deserve to know what the U.S. government is doing around the world, day in and day out, in their interest.”
Allen’s confirmation is welcome news for our community, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with ECA and GPA under her leadership.