Image from annenberg.usc.edu. See All Event Photos. April 8th, 2008. Secretary Condoleezza Rice honored USC's Center on Public Diplomacy with one of four inaugural Benjamin Franklin Awards, a prestigious new Public Diplomacy honor bestowed by the U.S. Department of State, according to a USC public relations news brief. Vice Provost Adam Clayton Powell III accepted the award from Secretary Rice. “(The Benjamin Franklin Award) is the most prestigious honor that the Department of State can bestow on American citizens who are making outstanding contributions to public diplomacy, both at home and abroad, and it reflects my conviction that the solutions to the challenges of the 21st century will come from all sectors of American society working together...We recognize USC's Center on Public Diplomacy for having evolved into the world's premier research facility in this field." The USC Center for Public Diplomacy was founded in 2003 as a partnership between the USC Annenberg School for Communication and the School of International Relations in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. Since its inception, USC has been widely recognized for its contributions in the field of public diplomacy, including the first-ever Masters program in Public Diplomacy in the nation.