State Department Diplomats Talk Careers

About 40 State Department career diplomats specializing in public diplomacy gathered on August 27 for a discussion of careers.  Council Associate Member Lia Miller convened the group.  Diplomatic postings, advancement and how to move up in the organization were prime topics during the round-table style meeting.  In the picture, a number of participants network after the meeting.  To view a recent report on this subject, click on Read More below.

Read More
Photo Credit - Tara Schoenborn Submit an image/video

PD commentary

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

Public Diplomacy's WWI History - a Different Viewpoint

Saturday, February 7th 2015

Council Member Matt Armstrong challenges John Brown's article below about the "Creel Committee", established to promote U.S. goals during World War I. Drawing on different historical writings, Armstrong focuses on the Committee for Public Information's effort to balance the information available to audiences abroad, which was at the time scarce and filtered through only a few news distributors.  He also paints a picture of a State Department that adhered strictly to private, mostly government-to-government, communications and resisted public outreach.

Read Matt's article -- drawn from a book in progress -- here and begin to draw your conclusions about public diplomacy's origins.  My takeaway is that to make judgments about the period, we have to enter an era of very different values, beliefs and possibilities.  A time when advertising and public relations were in their infancy, never mind broadcasting or the internet.  A fascinating exploration, which the Council will no doubt continue to explore.

Read More

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

Diplomats and Scholars in the Classroom - New Research on Diplomacy Education

Wednesday, February 4th 2015

So you're interested in diplomacy and foreign affairs - perhaps as a career option.  And you're looking over the course listings available at your college.  Are you going to favor the instructors who are former diplomats or those who have built their career researching and teaching international affairs?

Read More

2 people have 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

Public Diplomacy's Surprising History - the Creel Committee Campaign of World War I

Sunday, February 1st 2015

Here is a guest post and a full interview by Dr. John Brown, former diplomat and lecturer affliliated with Georgetown University, about an important collection of papers released by the Department of State Historian.

The Public Diplomacy Council welcomes the publication, by the State Department Office of the Historian, of the first volume in the series “1917-1972, Public Diplomacy …”, as part of its Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS).

This carefully footnoted collection of documents, dealing with World War I, is a groundbreaking event: the first FRUS series devoted to public diplomacy.

The editor of this important work is Dr. Aaron Marrs. He selected key items that focus on the foreign activities of the Committee of Public Information (CPI, 1917-1919), by many considered America’s first “public diplomacy” federal agency. (Note that the term “public diplomacy” did not become part of the American international affairs vocabulary until the Cold War).

The CPI had two main aims:  “to make the fight for loyalty and unity at home, and for friendship and understanding of the neutral nations of the world”. Of this dual mission, the CPI’s primary task was to persuade Americans -- who in 1916 had reelected a president who “kept us out of war” --  to support “the war to end all wars.”

CPI homeland programs ranged from producing/distributing news reports to brief speeches by the Four Minute Men, as well as facilitating the screening of Hollywood films such as The Kaiser: The Beast of Berlin.

At its height, 150,000 people served the CPI -- most of them unpaid American “volunteers.”

Read More

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

Carl Schurz on "True Americanism" (II)

Friday, January 30th 2015

In a previous essay I looked at Carl Schurz’s 1859 speech, “True Americanism,” reviewing its structure and its techniques of persuasion.  This piece looks at some of Schurz’s main ideas.  The rhythms of his speech are out of fashion, some of his asides make us wince, historians can deconstruct it, but surely he touched on enduring subjects.  Here are a few:

Read More

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

...click authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

Speechwriter's File: Carl Schurz on "True Americanism" (I)

Tuesday, January 27th 2015

Giving or writing speeches is a skill that can be improved by absorbing great addresses of the past.  Old speeches also open a window on how Americans contended over principle, and by revealing earlier self-understandings of our country, they help us better grasp the origins of our current debates.

 

Looking at speeches of the 19th century, few equal Carl Schurz’s great 7600-word stemwinder, “True Americanism,” of 1859.

Read More

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 is a trainer, speaker, and mentor in Public Diplomacy and Communication. He also speaks on history and leadership. After serving as President of the Public Diplomacy Council, he now is a member of the Board of Directors.

...click authors name for more info

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

 

Sept. 14 - AFSA, 12:00 pm-1:15 pm, A Tour of US Embassies on Social Networks

Oct. 5 - AFSA, 12:00 pm-1:15 pm, Democratic Transitions: Conversations with World Leaders

Dec. 5 - AFSA, 12:00 pm - 1:15pm, Expo Milan: U.S. Food Diplomacy in Action

 

PDC Council Meetings

Oct. 5th - AFSA, 10:30 am-11:30 am

 

PDC Board Meetings

Sep. 23 - USC Washington Office, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Stay Connected

Follow the Public Diplomacy Council on Facebook and share your opinion about up-to-date issues with us.