Fact Sheet: Public Diplomacy Field Operations

185 Public Diplomacy Sections (est.) at U.S. missions and consulates
700 Foreign Service and 2600 Locally Employed Staff (est.)
Overseas operating costs in Fiscal Year 2019: $391.2 million
Cost as a portion of the total international affairs budget (FY2019): .01 percent*

Embassy staff members at missions overseas span the final link with people who matter for the United States. The United States maintains missions in close to 200 nations around the globe. In nearly all embassies and consulates, Public Diplomacy (PD) Sections engage with local residents through media relations, educational and cultural exchanges, and special events. 

Most PD professionals consider this to be the heart of public diplomacy. 

Drawing on products and programs created in Washington by about 850 employees, PD sections overseas translate and personalize America’s message for their local audiences. Each mission focuses its activities on goals and objectives that are set in a formal planning process. 
Specifically, overseas operations advance U.S. interests through: 
Public diplomacy field operations make a notable contribution to the United States’ influence around the world. Here are some facts about what American taxpayers receive for their investment. 
To see some of the editorial products that public diplomacy sections translate and adapt for their audiences, go to https://share.america.gov/.

Our organization bestows awards for outstanding public diplomacy initiatives each year. To read about the 2021 awardees, go to our Awards page. 

Figures are drawn from the 2020 Annual Report by the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, which drew on statistics mainly from 2018-2019. You can find this and the latest (2021) report at https://www.state.gov/bureaus-offices/under-secretary-for-public-diplomacy-and-public- affairs/united-states-advisory-commission-on-public-diplomacy/. 
* Cost figure includes Diplomatic Program Funding plus American salaries.