11/01/2007 - When Karen Hughes took office as undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs in the fall of 2005, her return to service in the Bush Administration brought renewed attention to the challenges of promoting America's image abroad. To many observers, it also signaled that the administration would place greater emphasis on public diplomacy during its second term. A longtime Bush aide since his days as Texas governor, Hughes brought with her a proven track record as a communications strategist on the campaign trail and in the White House. However, as Hughes prepares to step down from her position, it is clear that America's image problems endure.
In particular, the United States continues to receive overwhelmingly negative ratings in the one area that was the primary target of public diplomacy efforts during Hughes' tenure: the Muslim world. Recent Pew Global Attitudes surveys show that, among Muslim publics, favorable views of the U.S. have remained scarce over the last two years and in some countries there has been further erosion in America's image.
Read full report Karen Hughes' Uphill Battle on the Pew Research Center Web site.