United States Information Agency

The United States Information Agency (USIA), which operated from 1953 to 1999, was a United States agency devoted to "public diplomacy". In 1999, USIA's broadcasting functions were moved to the newly created Broadcasting Board of Governors. Its cultural exchange and non-broadcasting information functions were assigned to the newly created Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The agency was previously known overseas as the United States Information Service (USIS).

United States Information Agency
Seal of the U.S. Information Agency
Logo of the U.S. Information Agency
Agency overview
FormedAugust, 1953
DissolvedOctober 1, 1999
Superseding agency
JurisdictionFederal government of the United States
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.

Former USIA Director of TV and Film Service Alvin Snyder recalled in his 1995 memoir that "the U.S. government ran a full-service public relations organization, the largest in the world, about the size of the twenty biggest U.S. commercial PR firms combined. Its full-time professional staff of more than 10,000, spread out among some 150 countries, burnished America‘s image and trashed the Soviet Union 2,500 hours a week with a 'tower of babble' comprised of more than 70 languages, to the tune of over $2 billion per year". "The biggest branch of this propaganda machine" was the USIA.[1]