The American Security Project defines public diplomacy as:
Communication and relationship building with foreign publics for the purpose of achieving a foreign policy objective.
Public diplomacy is a vital aspect of our national security strategy and must also inform the policy making process. Paraphrasing Edward R. Murrow, President Kennedy's Director of the United States Information Agency (USIA), public diplomacy must be in on the take-offs of policy and not just the crash landings.
In the 20+ years since the end of the Cold War, the United States has yet to establish a defining role for public diplomacy in the context of its foreign relations.