USAID's loss is Judith McHale's gain

It was barely six months ago that Lynne Weil, one of public diplomacy's best friends on the Hill as a Berman staffer on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, moved from the House to the United States Agency for International Development. This move was so noteworthy that Al Kamen wrote about it.

Lynne tells me she is making another move. Starting next week, she'll be Senior Advisor to Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale. What will she do?

Working with her team, I'll put my full media, congressional and policy experience into supporting U.S. public diplomacy, which you and I share as a long-standing personal passion.

Lynne made it clear that she is not abandoning USAID (and no, this post had nothing to do with her decision). This move gives her a chance to work with and promote the needs and activities of public diplomacy from the inside. Rajiv Shah's loss is McHale's (and Clinton's) gain.

Image: from the 2009 Smith-Mundt Symposium where Lynne was on the Congressional panel, along (from left to right) with Reps. Paul Hodes (D-NH), Adam Smith (D-WA), and Doug Wilson, now the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.