Young African Leaders the Focus at First Monday

Joyce Warner of IREX (r) talks about the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, coming up this summer as part of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).  Britta Bjornlund (l) of the State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Programs, also spoke at our First Monday talk on April 7.  Forum Organizer Adam Powell observes in the background. Read More
Photo Credit - Jesselle Macatiag Submit an image/video

PD commentary

Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field

Time To Hit The Reset Button On Public Diplomacy?

Wednesday, April 16th 2014

George Kennan is looking smarter and smarter these days. 

Kennan served at a time when America was happy to welcome its soldiers home from World War II and uninterested in new global commitments.  Kennan wrote policy recommendations to deal with Moscow leaders bent on taking advantage every opportunity to expand influence—if not control—in nearby lands.  Sound familiar?

So, it was noteworthy when James Jay Carafano cited George F. Kennan in a recent  Examiner article, asking whether it’s time to hit the reset button on public diplomacy?

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Brian E. Carlson

Board member


Summary: An experienced public diplomacy officer, Ambassador Brian Carlson advises the InterMedia research organization on military and foreign affairs issues and serves the State Department as a senior inspector. For the last three years he was the State Department liaison to the Department of Defense on strategic communication.

 

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Author: Brian Carlson

New Work by PD Council Members

Wednesday, April 9th 2014

Donna Oglesby has published an article for Layalina Productions titled The Political Promise of Public Diplomacy.  Should practitioners of public diplomacy pay more attention to political argument and debate in today's communication environment?  Go to the link to get Oglesby's perspective.

And Bruce Gregory has updated his compilation of recent work about public diplomacy, which we carry on these pages.  Find summaries and links to articles about everything from Hip Hop foreign policy to Robert Gates' memoirs in this edition.

Happy reading!

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Joe B. Johnson

Board member

 

Joe B. Johnson consults on government communication and technology after a career in the United States Foreign Service.  He is an instructor for the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, where he teaches strategic planning for public diplomacy.

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Author: Joe Johnson

2013 Forum: Nation-building -- What it is, is not, and should be

Sunday, April 6th 2014

One of the 2013 Fall Forum’s six afternoon breakout sessions addressed the topic of “nation-building.”

Speakers were:

  • Ambassador Ronald Neumann, President of the American Academy of Diplomacy,
  • Mr. Jeffrey Grieco, Chief of Communications for International Relief and Development,

  • Mr. Robert Silverman, President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA)

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Jesselle Macatiag is a fellow with the Public Diplomacy Council and graduate student in American University’s International Media program. She comes to Washington D.C. to study the global implications of a changing media landscape, particularly how these changes impact the use of media as a vehicle for social change across cultural and political contexts.

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Author: Jesselle Macatiag

Cuban Twitter Wasn't Aid and it Wasn't Public Diplomacy Either

Friday, April 4th 2014

The U.S. Agency for International Development has confirmed that it set up a text messaging service in Cuba under false pretenses.

The Associated Press broke the story earlier this week.  USAID used "shell companies" to create a cellphone text messaging service that would deliver infotainment to attract an audience of young Cubans, and at a later stage, use the network to promote political activism.  The project attracted 40 thousand subscribers before USAID abandoned it in 2012, according to news accounts.

Clever public diplomacy?

No.  For two reasons.

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One person has commented on this article so far

Joe B. Johnson

Board member

 

Joe B. Johnson consults on government communication and technology after a career in the United States Foreign Service.  He is an instructor for the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, where he teaches strategic planning for public diplomacy.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Joe Johnson

Operational Public Diplomacy: Brought to You by the Number "4"

Thursday, April 3rd 2014

Those of us who spent too much time in China notice policy "by the numbers."  Jiang Zemin's "three represents," Deng Xiaoping's "four modernizations," and Taiwan's "three no's" are only the most famous.  I notice that American writers are fond of listing elements or pillars.  For Public Diplomacy, the favored number seems to be "four."

Elements of national power?  Our military friends list four, using the acronym D-I-M-E:  Diplomatic, information, military, economic.  Say what you will about lack of nuance, Public Diplomacy ("information") is playing in the foursome.

Historian Nicholas Cull of the University of Southern California identified four elements of Public Diplomacy:  listening, advocacy, cultural diplomacy, and exchange.  He adds another, international broadcasting, executed by the USG broadcasters.  PDC member Martha Bayles follows Cull's lead in her new book.

A fact sheet from the Public Diplomacy Council lists "Four Ways of Thinking about Public Diplomacy" -- public affairs, information, people, and storytelling.

The State Department's strategic framework for Public Diplomacy has one goal on resources and priorities and four substantive goals:  "shape the narrative," "expand and strengthen people-to-people relationships," "combat violent extremism," and "better inform policymaking."

There are many other formulas and categorizations for Public Diplomacy.  Indeed, defining “Public Diplomacy” has become an active area of policy and academic debate.  Or perhaps confusion, but that’s another story.

Today, however, let me cut the cards, reshuffle, and stack the deck another way to explain how Public Diplomacy works overseas at Foreign Service posts.  For "operational" Public Diplomacy, rather than theory, I usually explain there are four levels.  Start at the bottom and work up.

Public Diplomacy

The Long Game

Public Affairs

Publicity

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One person has commented on this article so far

A Minister-Counselor in the State Department's Senior Foreign Service when he finished his federal career, Donald M. Bishop was recently elected as President of the Public Diplomacy Council. He is a trainer, speaker, and mentor in Public Diplomacy and Communication. He also speaks on history and leadership.

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Author: Donald M. Bishop

The Public Diplomacy Council is a nonprofit organization committed to the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Founded in 1988, the Council serves the community of public diplomacy professionals, professors and students interested in public diplomacy.

 

 

Upcoming

 

First Monday Lunches

May 5: Martha Bayles, Author of "Through a Screen Darkly: Popular Culture, Public Diplomacy, and America's Image Abroad"

Santa Fe World Affairs Forum Symposium

April 28-29: Talking with the Enemy, Cultivating Friends - Diplomacy Revisited

St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Register by April 21 HERE

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