New: Assistant Secretary of State for International Information Programs (IIP)

And so it begins... A new post has been established at the State Department: Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP). The President nominated Mike Doran, currently Deputy Assistant Secretary for Support to Public Diplomacy at Defense, for this new position. The elevation of the leadership of IIP will undoubtedly strengthen the bureau, even if Mike doesn’t get confirmed. Some think he will, others, well, not so much. Regardless, this is a positive step for IIP. Also, congratulations to Mike, although I doubt he’s rethinking his commute quite yet.

Interestingly, it comes the day after the Brownback bill was introduced in the Senate. This bill, which is intended to provoke discussion (it has) rips out all of Public Diplomacy, eliminates the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy job (the language of the bill, number forthcoming, doesn’t indicate the if an Under Secretary is reconstituted for Public Affairs or a lesser position is to be created), repeals the Smith-Mundt provision preventing domestic dissemination, defines Strategic Communication and its goals, creates a National Center for Strategic Communication (NCSC) based largely on the National Center for Counter Terrorism (NCTC), among other things. 

Put on your seatbelts, these last few months may get bumpy...

More to come on all the above. The announcement from the White House is below the fold.

President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate two people, appoint three people and designate one person to serve in his Administration.

The President intends to nominate Michael S. Doran, of New Jersey, to be Assistant Secretary of State (International Information Programs).  Dr. Doran currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Support to Public Diplomacy.  Prior to this, he served as Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs at the National Security Council.  Earlier in his career, he served as a Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.  Dr. Doran received his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.  He received his master’s degree and PhD from Princeton University.