George W. Bush

In a Senate hearing room packed beyond capacity, Karen Hughes today told the Foreign Relations Committee that the United States “is engaged in a generational and global struggle of ideas,” and that after much study and analysis of U.S. public diplomacy over the last several years, “now is the time for action and implementation.” Hughes cautioned at several points that “perceptions do not change quickly,” and that the U.S. should not “expect instant results”.

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The House Appropriations Committee approved legislation on Tuesday that would fund exchange programs administered by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at $410.4 million in FY 2006. The amount would provide an increase for exchanges of $54.468 million above the FY 2005 level, but is $20 million below the Bush Administration’s request. The bill also includes a funding increase for other public diplomacy programs.

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A Senate appropriations subcommittee yesterday recommended $440.2 million in funding for State Department exchange programs in FY2006.

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A Senate appropriations subcommittee yesterday recommended $440.2 million in funding for State Department exchange programs in FY2006.

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The Senate on Friday voted to confirm Dina Habib Powell as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. In addition to heading ECA, Powell will also serve as Deputy Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. President Bush has nominated Karen Hughes for the under secretary post.

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The House Appropriations Committee approved legislation on Tuesday that would fund exchange programs administered by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) at $410.4 million in FY 2006. The amount would provide an increase for exchanges of $54.468 million above the FY 2005 level, but is $20 million below the Bush Administration’s request. The bill also includes a funding increase for other public diplomacy programs.

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Called by Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) ‘exactly the right person’ for the job of Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Dina Habib Powell said today that she is “committed to widening the two-way highway of people-to-people exchanges as part of Secretary Rice’s vision of transformational diplomacy.”

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee
May 26, 2005

The following text is as prepared for delivery.

Chairman Sununu, Ranking Member Nelson, distinguished members of this subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today as President Bush’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. Thank you also to Senator Hutchison and Senator Cornyn for introducing me today.

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For the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs
Committee on Appropriations

United States Senate
May 20, 2005

As Chair of the Board of the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange, I appreciate the opportunity to submit testimony in support of the President’s budget request of $430.4 million for the educational and cultural exchange programs administered by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) in FY 2006. In this statement, we also recommend steps to strengthen public diplomacy within the Department of State.

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Recognizing that “the Subcommittee will face difficult decisions in the weeks and months ahead,” Chairman Mitch McConnell (R-KY) welcomed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the first meeting of the new Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Thursday afternoon.

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