Where America’s International Students Come From

(28 November 2016) The number of international students attending American universities has been rising steadily. Just under 975,000 international students were enrolled in U.S. universities last year and that number has now increased to 1,043,839. That upward trend is important as foreign students contribute billions to the U.S. economy. China supplies the most international students to U.S. universities (328,547), followed by India (165,918), and Saudi Arabia (61,287).

The following chart shows the number of foreign students at U.S. colleges by nationality in 2015-2016.

Infographic: Where America's International Students Come From | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

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Public Diplomacy in Trump Era Explored at Monday Forum

Philip Seib

Philip Seib (Univ. of Southern California)

(25 November 2016). The First Monday Forum in December will examine prospects for public diplomacy under a President Donald Trump. The event takes place on Monday, 5 December 2016 at American Foreign Service Association in Washington, D.C.

Phillip Seib, professor of public diplomacy, journalism, and international affairs in the Center on Public Diplomacy at University of Southern California will be the speaker and lead the discussion. Seib studies the effects of news coverage on foreign policy, particularly conflict and terrorism issues. He is the author of several books, the latest being The Future of #Diplomacy, published by Wiley. After the election, he offered these thoughts about public diplomacy under Donald Trump for Huffington Post.

First Monday Forums are a joint project of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, and Public Diplomacy Council. The event takes place on Monday, 5 December 2016, and begins at 12:00 pm at AFSA headquarters, 2101 E Street NW, Washington DC (Foggy Bottom metro). Sandwiches and refreshments will be served.

The event is free, but advance registrations by e-mail are required:

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Panel Discussing PD Challenges at Walter Roberts Centennial

Walter Roberts

Walter Roberts in an early Voice of America broadcast (U.S. government, public domain)

(9 November 2016). The Walter Roberts Endowment and the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication at George Washington University are holding a panel discussion on Challenges in the New Public Diplomacy Environment, to celebrate the centennial of Walter Roberts’s birth. The event takes place on Wednesday, 30 November 2016, at 3:00 pm at the Elliott School of International Affairs at GWU.

The panel includes:

  • Macon Phillips, Coordinator of the United States Department of State Bureau of International Information Programs
  • Robert Entman, Professor of Media and Public Affairs and Professor of International Affairs at GWU
  • Andrea De Arment, Incoming Information Officer and Spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu
  • André Mendes, Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer of the Broadcasting Board of Governors

Thomas Miller, Public Diplomacy Fellow at the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, will serve as moderator.

The Walter Roberts Endowment was established at the Institute of Public Diplomacy and Global Communication in 2005 with a generous gift from Dr. Roberts. The endowment supports activities, programming, and scholarship for the study of public diplomacy at George Washington University. Dr. Roberts was a diplomat and a foreign policy and public affairs expert with a distinguished career in the U.S. Foreign Service and the former U.S. Information Agency. He died in 2014 at the age of 97.

The event takes place on Wednesday, 30 November, 3 to 5 pm, in the City View Room at the Elliott School of International Affairs, 7th floor, 1957 E St NW in Washington, DC. A reception and book launch follow the panel discussion. The event is free, but registration is required.

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Obituaries: Memories of You

Coffin at funeral

(Ann Larie Valentine, Flickr

Ed Scherr

(29 October 2016) Here is a suggestion that your advanced planning should include obituary material. We write wills, medical directives, and even long autobiographies. But though an obituary, or obit, we can share our lives and days in USIA/State with our family, friends, and former colleagues. Newspapers may not carry extensive obits, and a lengthy paid obit is expensive. But in this technological era, emails, social networks, and the web can be channels to share your life story.

There are some misconceptions about newspaper obits. You have “news obits,” written by the paper with information supplied by the family, and secondly, the paid “death notice,” which includes funeral and memorial information, and can contain biographical details. Death notices are billed by the column inch, the days of the week, and other features. But, for some, the price may be too expensive for a lengthy item. Your family would have the option of publishing — and paying for — any biographical or personal information included in a death notice. Similar obits with biographical information are found on funeral home Web sites.

This is a call for USIA and State PD staffers to write or compile information about their lives and careers, so survivors would have complete and accurate information for publication. It is important that you briefly record the details of your life as a reference source for your family. I have seen many examples of published obits that are lacking in details or accuracy about a person’s life and career.

In another era, a family member would call a newspaper and supply information about the deceased to a reporter who wrote the obit. Times have changed. The Washington Post now has an obituary form on its Web site — Since most of you have served in Washington, you should be aware of the Post caveats. “The Washington Post publishes news obituaries about people who had a major impact on the Washington region and beyond. To be considered for an obituary, local residents must have lived here for at least 20 years and for more years than they lived elsewhere. “While we cannot guarantee the publication or length of a news obituary, we welcome all submissions.” Death notices in the Post start at $135 a column inch, per day.

The Post’s subject boxes in the form, are a good guidelines for the material that should be gathered for future use. They include: birthdate, place of birth and residence, education, military service, work history, accomplishments, honors and other information, plus group membership and volunteer work. The Post asks for specific information about the diseased such as date and cause of death, and is interested in Washington area activities. I would add information about interests and hobbies, and activities in retirement. You should check with newspapers in your region, if outside the D.C. area about their news obit policy.

Funeral homes should aid in preparing paid death notices. Both the State magazine and PDAA Today carry brief obits of less than a hundred words. The PDAA Today In Memoriam column also carries short item on the deaths of spouses of those in the USIA/State PD community.

Below are samples of news and paid obits, pieces written by family members, and an “In Memoriam”  items.  One obit — for Irving Sablosky — is a fine example of what information should be gathered.  It was written by his wife Juliet, a retired USIA FSO.

Remember that news obits are written by staff writers, and their length and contents  depends on the judgment of the paper.

Continue reading Obituaries: Memories of You

China’s Coverage of U.S. Election Discussed at Monday Forum

Voting booths

(Jared and Corin, Flickr)

(29 October 2016) The November 2016 First Monday Forum features a discussion by two experts on China’s news coverage of the U.S. election. The event takes place on Monday, 7 November 2016 — the day before the election — at American Foreign Service Association in Washington, D.C.

Leading the discussion are two observers who bring an up-close perspective on the subject. Jim Laurie is a 40-year journalist and broadcaster, much of that time in Asia. He heads the video production and television consulting company Focus Asia Productions HK Ltd. Michael Ottey is World News Editor for China Daily, based in Beijing. He served a daily newspaper reporter and editor, making frequent appearances on television and radio news broadcasts.

First Monday Forums are a joint project of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, and Public Diplomacy Council. The event takes place on Monday, 7 November 2016, and begins at 12:00 pm at AFSA headquarters, 2101 E Street NW, Washington DC (Foggy Bottom metro). Sandwiches and refreshments will be served.

The event is free, but advance registrations by e-mail are required:

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What the Next U.S. President Needs to Know, Examined at November 14 PDAA Lunch

Tara Sonenshine

Tara Sonenshine at PDAA lunch program, 14 November 2016 (A. Kotok)

(Updated 14 November 2016) On November 14, PDAA welcomed two outstanding foreign policy leaders with great affinity for public diplomacy – Tara Sonenshine and Kristin Lord – to discuss the new President’s global challenges.  Well known for their public service and engagement with the State Department, both have distinguished themselves in other areas of government, the private sector, the media and academia.  Tara Sonenshine offered reflections on the international media environment for the Trump Administration and Kristin Lord provided insights on the future of cultural and educational exchanges.  Several serious and probing questions followed their remarks.

Tara Sonenshine has a distinguished career in government, non-profits and the media.  She is the winner of 10 News Emmy Awards and other awards in journalism for programs on domestic and international issues and was editorial producer of ABC News’ Nightline for many years.  She counts among her inspirations to journalism the work of Edward R. Murrow.  Tara joined the United States Institute of Peace leadership team in January 2009 as Vice President for Planning and Outreach. In that capacity, she has overseen strategic planning, public outreach and publications.  She served as special assistant to President Clinton and deputy director of communications for the NSC (1994-1995).

She has been a strategic communications advisor to the International Crisis Group, CARE, Internews, the American Academy of Diplomacy and Women of Washington.  A former contributing editor for Newsweek, Sonenshine is the author of numerous articles on foreign affairs published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other newspapers.  In April 2012, Tara Sonenshine was sworn in as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, a position she held until July, 2013.  In this capacity, she traveled to China, India, Russia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Qatar and throughout the United States.

Kristin Lord

Kristin Lord at PDAA lunch program, 14 November 2016 (A. Kotok)

Dr. Kristin Lord has been President and CEO of IREX since October 2014.  IREX and its partners to empower youth, cultivate leaders, strengthen institutions, and extend access to quality education and information.  She previously served as Acting President and Executive Vice President of the United States Institute of Peace.  From 2009-2013, she was Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security.

She was a Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program and Saban Center for Middle East Policy at The Brookings Institution.   Dr. Lord was Associate Dean at The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs from 1995 to 2008, and taught courses on U.S. public diplomacy, U.S. foreign policy, and the causes of war.  She served as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow and Special Adviser to the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs.  Dr. Lord is the author and editor of numerous books, articles, and policy reports, and has written on U.S. grand strategy, cyber security, managing 21st century diplomacy and combating violent extremism. She has provided expert commentary to media outlets such as the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Al-Jazeera, BBC Radio, VOA, PBS, and MSNBC.

This PDAA program took place Monday, November 14 at 12 noon, at DACOR-Bacon House, 1801 F Street NW in Washington, DC.

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