Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Tuesday, December 10th 2013
Even in the middle of a busy week, the story stood out: 49 Russian diplomats posted in the United States were charged with participating in an organized scheme to defraud Medicaid out of $1.5 million in illegal benefits.
It wasn’t a one-time theft. According to the criminal complaint, the diplomats had been stealing money from America’s federal health benefits program for the needy for the past nine years.
President Vladimir Putin’s government must have been shaken by the news, and at least initially worried about how it would affect their interests. But that worry couldn’t have lasted long. When reporters asked the U.S. State Department spokesman about the impact of the scandal, she replied, “We don’t think this should affect our bilateral relationship with Russia. Quite frankly, there are too many important issues we have to work on together.”
Well, hold on just a second.
Friday, December 6th 2013
Council Member and Adjunct Professor Bruce Gregory found our December 2 First Monday Forum on Baltic States Public Diplomacy worthy of a review. We're carrying his note as a guest blog post.
Friday, November 29th 2013
The Forum's first panel addressed Public Diplomacy past; the third panel discussed Public Diplomacy's future. This panel focused on Public Diplomacy present -- looking at the field since the shock of 9/11.
Thursday, November 21st 2013
Council Vice-President Robert Albro is flagging a Nov. 25 symposium on Latin America’s cultural industries as something of interest to members. The conference “explores options for government and multilateral promotion of the cultural sector, and … one dimension of this includes soft power considerations of the relationship between promotion of national creative economies and public diplomacy.”
The organizers are American University's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and the Inter-American Development Bank and Cultural Center. The event convenes experts from Latin America and the US on the relationship of culture to the economy.
Thursday, November 21st 2013
I am still sort of surprised that they swore me into the U.S. Foreign Service at just 22 years of age – fresh out of college the previous summer. It was 1970 and a few years after "ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
Off I went to my first assignment – Caracas, Venezuela – where I would be a JOT (Junior Officer Trainee) for my first year. In those days FSOs were sworn in as tenured officers immediately, but given an initial yearlong overseas assignment for “training.”
After twelve months of working in each section of the entire embassy for a month or six weeks at a time, they judged me worthy of a real assignment. I became "ACAO (Student Affairs)."