9. Memorandum From the Director of the United States Information Agency (Shakespeare) to all USIA Element Heads1


  • Young Officers’ Policy Panel

Effective March 10, I am establishing a Young Officers’ Policy Panel in USIA. Its purpose is to bring the insights of the Agency’s young generation to bear more actively on our problems. I also hope that it will serve to give our young officers a greater sense of participation in our common tasks.

The Panel will be composed of about a dozen young officers of the foreign and domestic services. Members will be appointed for a year and serve on a rotating basis. Their regular assignments will allow for a degree of flexibility in working hours in order to enable them to participate in Panel activities.

The Panel will report to the Deputy Director (Policy and Research).2 I expect to meet with the group myself at an early date, and thereafter as time permits.

The responsibilities of the Panel will be of three principal types:

1. To receive and screen the ideas of all young officers so that the best of these ideas may be transmitted to Agency elements for action.

2. To arrange for other young Agency officers to participate in activities through which they can broaden their outlook and contribute to Agency thinking and decision-making. These activities wil include:

a. Attendance at debriefings of USIA and State Department officers and of CU grantees;

b. Participation in IOP communication seminars;

c. Attendance at staff meetings of Agency elements other than the one to which assigned;

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d. Participation in screening of IMV productions and acquisitions;

e. Participation in Agency working groups (e.g., PPBS Working Group);

f. Campus recruiting.

3. To keep open the Agency’s lines of communication with college students and their organizations, and bring the insights gained to bear on Agency policies, products, and programs. Panel members will meet and correspond with student groups, and as a result of these contacts will, for instance:

a. Make recommendations on Agency policies and plans;

b. Make suggestions for new Agency media products and field activities;

c. Select magazine reprints and other items for a quarterly youth packet, like the quarterly IPS cultural packet;

d. Comment on radio and television programs, films, pamphlets, and other media output.

The Panel, once formed, will establish its own procedures.


You are requested to nominate up to three young officers from your elements to serve on the Young Officers’ Policy Panel. Your nominees should be in their twenties or early thirties and at the FSIO 5–7, GS 9–13 level. Please send their names and a brief statement about each to the Deputy Director (Policy and Research) no later than February 28.

Frank Shakespeare
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 306, Director’s Subject Files, 1968–1972, Entry A1–42, Box 16, IOP—Youth Activities 1970. No classification marking.
  2. In 1969, the USIA leadership decided to remove the research function from the Office of Policy and Research and establish an Office of Research and Assessment, containing divisions and units from the Office of Policy and Research, the Office of the Director, and Office of the Assistant Director for Administration. At the time of this memorandum, Ryan served as the Deputy Director for Policy and Research. Strasburg assumed the position of Associate Director for Research and Assessment, of the newly-created Office of Research and Assessment, in mid 1969. For additional information, see Document 16.