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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 30, 1998


Foreign Affairs Reorganization

Today President Clinton sent to the Congress a plan and report on reorganization of the foreign affairs agencies, pursuant to the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998. The Act provides authority to reorganize the foreign affairs agencies and is based on the plan announced by the President on April 18, 1997.

Reorganization of the foreign affairs agencies will sustain and strengthen U.S. leadership for a new century that will pose new threats and opportunities.

The reorganization plan puts arms control and nonproliferation, public diplomacy, and sustainable development where they belong, at the heart of our foreign policy in a reinvented Department of State. The plan preserves the special missions of the foreign affairs agencies, takes full advantage of their talented personnel, and lends greater coherence and effectiveness to our international affairs activities. Over time, integration will yield operating efficiencies as well as improve the quality of our activities.

The Reorganization

The United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) will be integrated into the State Department on March 28, 1999. The missions of arms control, nonproliferation, and political-military affairs will be under the policy oversight of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, who will also serve as Senior Adviser to the President and the Secretary of State on Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament. In the capacity of Senior Adviser, the Under Secretary will be able to communicate with the President through the Secretary and will participate in meetings of the National Security Council on arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament. Five bureaus in ACDA and State will be reduced to three -- the Bureaus of Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Political Military Affairs -- for which the Under Secretary will exercise policy oversight. A Special Adviser reporting directly to the Under Secretary will focus on verification and compliance issues. The Department of State will have a leadership role in the interagency process on nonproliferation policy, and an enhanced role in the interagency process on arms control policy. An advisory board will be established to make recommendations to the Secretary through the Under Secretary on arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament.

The United States Information Agency (USIA) will be integrated into State on October 1, 1999. The missions of public diplomacy -- to understand, inform, and influence foreign audiences and broaden the dialogue between American citizens and institutions and their counterparts abroad -- will be under the policy direction of a new Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Two bureaus in USIA will be streamlined into one at State -- the Bureau of International Information and Exchange Programs. The Bureau will be responsible for academic and professional exchanges and educational and cultural affairs and will produce information programs and services to advocate U.S. policy positions with foreign audiences. Information activities will focus on foreign audiences in recognition of the long-standing intent of the Congress to separate overseas public diplomacy efforts from those which inform the press and the American public. State's Bureau of Public Affairs will incorporate the Foreign Press Centers now operated by USIA. USIA's area offices will join respective regional bureaus at State, and public diplomacy staffs will be added as appropriate to State functional bureaus. USIA's Research office will integrate with State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and public diplomacy activities abroad will be carried out as an integrated part of the State component of our overseas missions.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), now part of USIA, will become a separate federal entity. Consistent with the Act, the BBG and the Secretary of State shall respect the professional independence and integrity of U.S. international broadcasting, which includes the Voice of America and surrogate broadcasting. U.S. broadcasting will also remain an essential instrument of American foreign policy. The Secretary will provide information and guidance on foreign policy issues to the BBG, and the Secretary will have a seat on the BBG replacing the USIA Director. State, USIA, and the BBG have worked out arrangements for transferring to the BBG funds, resources, and personnel commensurate with the administrative and other support they now receive from USIA and sufficient for the BBG to operate as an independent entity.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) will remain a separate agency. On April 1, 1999, however, the USAID Administrator will report to and be under the direct authority and foreign policy guidance of the Secretary of State. To maximize consistency with overall U.S. international affairs priorities, the Secretary will coordinate development and other economic assistance, except export promotion and international financial assistance, which will be coordinated by the Secretaries of Commerce and Treasury, respectively. The Secretary of State will review USAID's strategic and performance plans, budget submissions and appeals, and allocations and significant reprogrammings, and delegate or redelegate to USAID the functions and authorities it needs to carry out its mission.

The Department of State's reinvention efforts will be bolstered by greater integration of the foreign affairs agencies. State has already taken some important steps and integration offers new opportunities for further reinvention. The Under Secretaries comprise a new Corporate Board chaired by the Deputy Secretary to address major cross-cutting issues and strategic planning. Assistant Secretaries have more autonomy in resource management. State will further its performance planning efforts to improve the link between strategic goals and resources. State has created a new Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, moving Canadian affairs into the former Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, to emphasize the importance of NAFTA and economic and political integration in this hemisphere. State is also creating a Bureau of East European and Eurasian Affairs to streamline policy direction and implementation in the newly independent states of the former Soviet Union. Within two years State will review all bureau configurations.

Bipartisanship and International Affairs Resources

Reorganization is a bipartisan initiative, and the Administration will work cooperatively with the Congress on its implementation. Increased efficiency is important to ensuring U.S. leadership for democracy, opportunity and prosperity around the world. But it is also necessary that we ensure there are sufficient resources for our foreign policy to succeed. The international financial crisis, instability in the Middle East, Kosovo, and Russia, continued acts of terrorism (including the embassy bombings in East Africa), and risks that nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons will proliferate show that there remain many threats to U.S. interests. We need both effective organization and sufficient resources to ensure a strong foreign policy that serves the interests of the American people.

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