Karen Hughes Leaving Public Diplomacy Post

Karen Hughes has announced that she’s leaving her post as Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

Karen Hughes Leaving Public Diplomacy Post U.S. Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes talks during an interview after the opening of Morocco Karen Hughes, who led efforts to improve the U.S. image abroad and was one of President Bush’s last remaining advisers from the close circle of Texas aides, will leave the government at the end of the year.

Hughes told The Associated Press that she plans to quit her job as undersecretary of state and return to Texas, although improving the world’s view of the United States is a “long-term challenge” that will outlast her. “This will take a number of years,” Hughes said in an interview Tuesday.

Announcing Hughes’ decision to leave the department in mid-December, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she had accepted the resignation “with a great deal of sadness but also a great deal of happiness for what she has achieved” and with the understanding that she would continue to work on several projects. Rice said that Hughes had made public diplomacy “strong and central” to U.S. foreign policy and had exceeded expectations in the job.

Expectations must have been mighty low.

That’s not to say that she didn’t do the job as well as it could have been done. Frankly, I haven’t any idea what she’s done. Like LTG Doug Lute, our war tsar, her activities since being appointed have been a mystery. Certainly, though, I have seen no evidence that world opinion of the United States has improved during her tenure.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    Didn’t a pro-American get elected in France. You don’t think that would happen without the massive application of mind control beams do you?

  2. Is that supposed to be a Halloween photo? Ms. Hughes looks like a witch about to cast a spell.

    Oh and I still haven’t read Hughes book ‘Ten minutes from Normal.’ I bought it off the $5 table at Walgreens about a year ago. Will it be better or worse than the other book I bought that day?

  3. I didn’t even know she was still on the job. Indeed, do we actually engage in public diplomacy these days?

    And what’s she doing in the photo, Jedi mind tricks?

  4. Triumph says:

    It is pretty clear why she is leaving. With the Mukasey nomination looking to be dead in the water, Bush is going to try the crony-route again to fill the AG slot. Since Gonzales is out of the picture, and with Harriet Meiers profiting from her new career as an exotic dancer, Hughes is the only member of Bush’s inner circle left.

    She will make an excellent Attorney General.

  5. legion says:

    Frankly, I haven’t any idea what she’s done. Like LTG Doug Lute, our war tsar, her activities since being appointed have been a mystery.

    Her responsibilities were the same as any other Bush appointee – keep Bush smiling, by any means necessary. Lie to him, lie to us, kill some people, start a war, put people in jail… whatever it takes.

    And I disagree with Triumph – I don’t think she’s going to get the AG nod, I think she’s angling for the next Supreme Court vacancy.

    You think I’m joking, don’t you?