Sunday, July 31, 2016

ICA Director Reinhardt (1978) on "influential foreigners" brought to the U.S. to "be impressed"

Note: For a brief period (1978-1982), the United States Information Agency (USIA, 1953-1999) was renamed/reorganized as the International Communication Agency.

From the newly-published papers newly by the Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State


159. Memorandum From the Director of the International Communication Agency (Reinhardt) to President Carter 1

Washington, November 30, 1978

The issue is whether, how, and in what time frame to expand our academic and other exchanges programs. ...
Influential foreigners, brought here to be impressed by the U.S., literally stay in third-rate hotels, travel in the company of inadequately trained escorts and interpreters, or with inadequate attention to their programs from overworked contract agencies. The average duration of academic sojourns has been reduced, typically, from an academic year to a semester or less; the value of stipends has eroded so dramatically as to make it difficult to attract truly authoritative scholars; the value of a grant for a doctoral scholar is now, typically, the cost of an airplane ticket. ...

1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Office of the Deputy Secretary: Records of Warren Christopher, 1977–1980: Lot 81D113, Box 18, Memoranda to the Secretary–1978. No classification marking. The date on the memorandum is stamped. Christopher sent a copy of the memorandum to Vance under a December 13 memorandum, noting: “John Reinhardt wants you to be generally aware of his proposal to the President for an expanded ICA exchanges program, in case the President refers to it in conversation with you. You will recall that the President, at Zbig’s suggestion, endorsed the idea of such an expansion to recoup the decline in constant-dollar funding of these programs over the past decade. I attach John’s memo to the President on the subject.” (Ibid.)↩ ...

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