The US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, popularly referred to as the Smith-Mundt Act, specifies the terms in which the U.S. government can engage in public diplomacy. Among the provisions of the 1948 Act was “the creation of an information service to disseminate abroad information about the United States, its people, and policies.” A major vehicle to achieve this objective was the development of the international broadcasting station, Voice of America (VOA).
US Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948
The Smith-Mundt Act is an educational exchange initiative established to “promote better understanding of the United States among the peoples of the world and to strengthen cooperative international relations.”
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013
Section 501 of the Act was amended in 2013 allowing BBG to make program materials available domestically, upon request, whenever doing so is consistent with all statutory authorities, prohibitions, principles, and standards.
Amending Smith-Mundt was part of the strategic plan adopted in 2011 by the governing board overseeing the BBG.