Voice of America: Independent Broadcaster and also Tool of Statecraft

The Voice of America's Director, David Ensor, asserted that VOA's editorial independence allows the broadcaster to reach ever-larger global audiences with information that advances U.S. interests.  Ensor addressed a group in Washington convened by the Council and the American Foreign Service Association on September 9.  Click Read More for the latest media coverage of U.S. international broadcasting. 

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PD commentary

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

What Happened in Embassy Cairo?

Friday, September 14th 2012

The dust thrown up by the events of September 11 in Egypt and Libya may never completely settle. Issues more important than public diplomacy beg for attention in the Muslim world. But looking at events this week at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, at least a few things seem clear through the public diplomacy lens:

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John H. Trattner

Board Member

A former career Foreign Service officer and press spokesman of the Department of State, Trattner was also a newspaper, newsmagazine, and network radio journalist in the United States and Europe, press secretary to former Senator George Mitchell, vice president of a nonprofit focused on federal government management, head writer for a public affairs firm, and graduate-level teacher at American University. The author of eight books about the jobs and challenges of federal presidential appointees, he currently writes free-lance and composes choral music.

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Author: John Trattner

Public Diplomacy and Counterrorism

Tuesday, September 11th 2012

Today is a good opportunity to recall the modest role that public diplomacy has played in counter-terrorism since the September 11 attacks.

One of the attackers passed through the security checkpoint at Dulles Airport shortly after I did on September 11, 2001.  (A friend who saw the surveillance video revealed this to me.)  I was scheduled for a flight to China for a business trip.  I was so fortunate.  We all mourn the lives of all those who died or lost loved ones on that day -- and in the days and months following.

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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.

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Author: Joe Johnson

Council Calls for Release of Journalists Held in Syria

Thursday, August 30th 2012

PDC Also Calls for the Immediate Release of Journalists Held in Syria

The Public Diplomacy Council joins the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) in calling for the immediate release of two journalists of the U.S.-funded Alhurra TV network in Arabic held for the past week in Syria. The Council endorses the BBG statement urging the Syrian government to ensure their safety.

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Author: Lisa Heyn

The ultimate persuaders: VOA's truth seekers in the trenches

Wednesday, August 29th 2012

“Truth and personal integrity,” legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow once said, “are the ultimate persuaders of men and nations.”

So it is today at the nation’s largest and only global publicly-funded international network, the Voice of America. The sacrifices of frontline VOA journalists barely rate mention in the mainstream press --- even though these centurions of truth daily fulfill Murrow’s charge.

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Alan L. Heil Jr.

Board member

Summary: As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 125 million people in 44 languages.

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Author: Alan Heil

Cultural Diplomacy

Sunday, August 19th 2012

Many years ago, The Economist newspaper (yes, in England, it’s called a newspaper, not a magazine) published an article about the best embassies in world capital cities.

I remember this issue because it cited the American Embassy on Grosvenor Square as the best of the foreign diplomatic operations in London.  Now that’s pretty impressive, given that many countries – then and now – send their best and brightest to London.

The reason: the Americans had an outstanding record of identifying and building relationships with the Britain’s best and brightest – an uncanny record of targeting the next generation of British society’s leaders, whether in arts, politics, economics, journalism or any other field of endeavor important to the “Special Relationship.”  

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One person has commented on this article so far

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

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.





First Monday Lunch Forum

Oct. 6th - Combating ISIS Messaging Through the Media with Shameem Rassam, Executive Producer, Alhurra Iraq and Davin Hutchins, Digital Director of Content, Middle East Broadcasting Networks

Nov. 3rd - TBD

Dec. 1st - Tom Hollihan on Japanese and Chinese media narratives over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Island

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