U.S. Public Diplomacy: A Look to the Past, A Look to the Future

U.S. Public Diplomacy: A Look to the Past, A Look to the Future

2013 Fall Forum 

A Look to the Past, A Look to the Future

More than 300 Public Diplomacy practitioners, analysts and students considered the challenges of the future at the Fall Forum of the Public Diplomacy Council on November 12th, 2013. Held at the George C. Marshall Conference Center at the Department of State, the Forum was co-sponsored by the Walter A. Roberts Endowment and the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association.

 “U.S. Public Diplomacy: A Look to the Past, A Look to the Future” assembled approximately 130 PD practitioners currently serving in the Department. They were joined by non-governmental PD partner organizations, policy institutes, broadcasters, and graduate programs in Public Diplomacy from universities in Washington and as far away as Denver.

The Forum was keynoted by VOA Director David Ensor, who reminded the intergenerational audience of the global need for credible news and free discussion of public issues.

The Honorable Evan Ryan, Department of State Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, and Macon Phillips, the Department’s Coordinator for International Information Programs, offered initial viewpoints early in their tenure.

Three panels of scholars, practitioners, and NGO and media leaders addressed the historical foundations of U.S. PD, the impact of 9/11, and how to craft PD in the future.

Six simultaneous breakout sessions were convened on vital dimensions of U.S. public diplomacy: countering violent extremism and terrorism, the age of engagement through social and other new media, partnerships in cultural diplomacy, religion, interagency collaboration, and nation-building.

The perspectives of the speakers and the audience were diverse, but they also converged in several ways. Clearly, listening and understanding across cultures to promote national interests will benefit from more cross-sector dialogue about where to focus limited resources among ever-diversifying global publics and constantly changing information tools.

The Council will add summaries, texts and photos as they become available. A proceedings volume will be compiled, edited, and published.

The program featured a salute to veterans of the U.S. Information Agency, the Voice of America, and the Soviet Exhibitions program.  A parallel project continues online:  Telling America’s Stories, a collection of still images showing the people and the programs of public diplomacy drawn from public and private archives.

The conference unfolded in the George C. Marshall Conference Center, located inside the Harry S Truman Building, the State Department’s headquarters.  George Marshall was Secretary of State in 1947 when the Department relocated from the Old Executive Office Building to the Foggy Bottom section of Washington, D.C.

Watch the conference on video: Morning and Afternoon

Keynote Speaker and Plenary Session Panelists  Here

Moderators and Speakers in the Break-out Sessions  Here

Conference Program  Here

Schedule   Here 

More about The Venue    Here