PublicDiplomacy.org subscriptions

June Forum to Focus on Governors as Ambassadors – Public Diplomacy at the State Level

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona and Gov. Claudia Pavlovich of Sonora, Mexico.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has a close relationship with Gov. Claudia Pavlovich of Sonora, Mexico. (Office of Gov. Doug Ducey, Governing Magazine)

(16 May 2018) The role of state-level government in public diplomacy will take center-stage at the June 4 First Monday program. The noon event is cosponsored by PDAA and takes place at the Elliott School on the George Washington University campus in Washington, D.C.

Governing Magazine recently pointed out that President Trump’s ‘America First’ message and his new trade policies have caused anxiety in states where the economy depends on investment from abroad. It’s pushing governors to hone their diplomatic skills.

The speakers at the June 4 event will be Scott Pattison, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the National Governors Association, and Tiffany Shackelford, Chief Strategic Officer and Director of the NGA’s new Global office.

Prior to joining NGA, Pattison served for over 14 years as director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, supporting governors’ chief financial officers and budget directors. Prior to NGA, Shackelford was the executive director at the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, where she focused on pushing the media industry forward through research and development of smart digital tools.

Monday forums are a joint project of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, USC Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, Public Diplomacy Council, and PDAA – an association of public diplomacy professionals. The event takes place on Monday, June 4, in the Lindner Family Commons room of the Elliott School at George Washington University, 1957 E Street, NW, Room 602, in Washington, D.C., beginning at 12 noon. Sandwiches and refreshments will be served.

The event is free, but advance registrations by e-mail are required: FirstMondayForum.RSVP@gmail.com.

* * *

 

Please share PublicDiplomacy.org ...

PDAA Awards Hail Public Diplomacy Officers for Creativity in Challenging Environments

Mark Bosse

Mark Bosse, Assistant Information Officer in Baghdad, leads training for government spokespersons (U.S. Embassy Baghdad)

(10 May 2018) The 2018 winners of the 21st annual PDAA Awards for Excellence in Public Diplomacy demonstrate the necessity of being able to utilize a basket of strategies in addressing the challenges of influencing public opinion in an ever-savvy global media environment.

From creating educational scholarships and producing social media platforms to training foreign official spokespersons in the art of media strategies and developing traditional exhibits, winners from our embassies in Korea, Panama, Thailand and Iraq have demonstrated that the public diplomacy officer has to be flexible and creative in crafting the right strategy for the right situation.

The winners are: Mark Bosse, then Assistant Information Officer in Baghdad and now Acting Public Affairs Officer in Dublin; Shim Jai Ok, Executive Director of the Korean-American Educational (Fulbright) Commission; Adrienne Bory, Information Officer in Panama; and the Public Affairs Section in Bangkok.

The winners were honored in a May 6 celebration at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, D.C.  PDAA is a volunteer, nonprofit organization of current and former State Department, broadcast, academic and private sector public diplomacy professionals.

Mark Bosse, faced with creating support for a strong U.S.-Iraqi partnership at a time when senior Iraqi officials were making unfounded allegations of U.S. “atrocities” against civilians, developed and delivered a seven-month series of trainingsfor official spokespeople and over 150 media professionals from 12 Iraqi ministries.

That effort “led to positive local, pan-Arab, and international coverage of U.S. military and humanitarian efforts,” wrote then-Baghdad Information Officer Kim Dubois.” She cited the very positive statement on CNN in April 2017 by the Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Services spokesperson thanking the U.S. for “providing a better future for all Iraqis.”  Such a statement, Dubois said, would have been unimaginable a month earlier. “Thanks to Mark’s efforts, both personally and at the head of his team, the highest level voices of the Iraqi government touted the outstanding cooperation between our two governments.”

In South Korea, Shim Jai Ok persuaded both the South Korean and U.S. governments to put up hundreds of thousands of dollars for a new fellowship that targets the 3,100 college-aged defectors from North Korea.

In 2018, the first five North Korean students will start their graduate school fellowships in the United States. “Our hope,” wrote award nominator and former Seoul Cultural Affairs Officer Mark Canning, “is that the program will grow over the years to produce a cohort of western-educated defectors who will be well prepared to go back to North Korea and lead it into the global community when circumstances permit such a development.”

Adrienne Bory

Adrienne Bory, second from left, and an embassy team shooting a video with the ambassador (U.S. Embassy Panama)

Information Officer Adrienne Bory was hailed for her visionary use of social media platforms to get out accurate, positive stories about U.S. engagement in Panama.  These tools were instrumental in turning around public opinion when the country’s traditional media attacked the United States over money laundering sanctions and when false accounts erupted that the U.S. planned to use Panama as a staging ground for an invasion of Venezuela.

But, says award nominator Francisco (Paco) Perez, Public Affairs Officer at U.S. Embassy Panama, Bory’s sweeping influence was especially evident in her use of videos, which often went viral, that portrayed the Ambassador as “the approachable man of the people, able to deliver important, often tough, messages to the Panamanian public.” She also mentored Peace Corps Panama in launching its first ever Facebook and Instagram accounts, and provided regular media training to the Panamanian Ministries of Security, which has helped advance U.S. security interests in the region.

Rounding out the PDAA awardees is U.S. Embassy Bangkok’s Public Affairs Section, led by Public Affairs Officer Melinda Masonis, for its “Great and Good Friends” exhibition, developed over two and one-half years, highlighting the sustained and positive 200 year relationship between the United States and Thailand. Lisa Heller, director of the Office of Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said the new King of Thailand’s presence at the exhibit opening signaled strong support for the U.S.-Thai relationship, especially welcome after the tense relations that followed the military junta’s takeover of power in 2014.

The exhibit, which required the PA section to raise nearly $4 million and work cooperatively with the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives, Library of Congress, and Google, was covered by every national television station and viewed by millions of Thais. A 30-second video on the exhibit was released on 109 major Cineplex movie screens throughout Thailand. “Even McThai (local McDonald’s franchise) is featuring the exhibit on its tray mats, cups, and boxes at restaurants throughout the country,” Heller said.

The PublicDiplomacy.org web site has a complete list of PDAA’s award winners since 1993.

*     *     *

Please share PublicDiplomacy.org ...

Cultural Diplomacy’s Future Examined at May Forum

Rapper Wordsmith

American rapper Wordsmith, with an Arab-Jewish band at the Rap for Humanity concert in Tel Aviv in 2016 (U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv)

(28 April 2018). The extent and nature of cultural diplomacy in the future will be explored at the next First Monday Forum, on May 7, 2018 at 12 noon. The event takes place at the Elliott School on the George Washington University campus in Washington, D.C.

A State Department advisory committee report in 2005 called cultural diplomacy “the linchpin of public diplomacy,” since it “reveals the soul of the nation.” noting the ideals of the Founding Fathers “take on new life in the vibrant traditions of American art, dance, film, jazz, and literature, which continue to inspire people the world over despite our political differences.”

Leading the discussion is Jay Raman, director of the Cultural Programs Division in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at State Department. Raman joined the Foreign Service in 2002, and served until 2017 as public affairs officer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. His work in Phnom Penh earned Raman one of PDAA’s awards for excellence in public diplomacy in 2017. His earlier public diplomacy posts include Quito, Guatemala City, and Tallinn. Raman has a degree from Harvard Law School and practiced law before joining the Foreign Service.

Monday forums are a joint project of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, USC Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, Public Diplomacy Council, and PDAA – an association of public diplomacy professionals. The event takes place on Monday, 7 May in the Lindner Family Commons room of the Elliott School at George Washington University, 1957 E Street, Room 602, in Washington, D.C., beginning at 12 noon. Sandwiches and refreshments will be served.

The event is free, but advance registrations by e-mail are required: FirstMondayForum.RSVP@gmail.com.

*     *     *

Please share PublicDiplomacy.org ...

Alberto Fernandez Featured at April’s Monday Forum

Amb. Alberto Fernandez

Amb. Alberto Fernandez (State.gov, Wikimedia Commons)

(1 April 2018). A conversation with Ambassador Alberto Fernandez highlights the next Monday forum, on a special date and time: 23 April 2018 at 3:00 pm. The discussion takes place at the Elliott School on the George Washington University campus in Washington, D.C.

Amb. Fernandez is president of Middle East Broadcasting Networks, joining the organization in June 2017. In this position, he oversees Alhurra Television networks and Radio Sawa, as well as MBN’s multimedia programs in the U.S. and Middle East. MBN is a private, not-for-profit, corporation funded by the Broadcasting Board of Governors providing news and information to 22 Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Before joining MBN, Amb. Fernandez served as vice-president of Middle East Media Research Institute from 2015 to 2017. His earlier career in the Foreign Service included the State Department’s Coordinator for the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Chief of Mission in Sudan, Director for Near East Public Diplomacy, and Director for Iraq Public Diplomacy.

This event takes place on a special date and time — Monday, 23 April 2018 at 3:00 pm — in the Lindner Family Commons room at George Washington University’s Elliott School, 6th floor, 1957 E Street NW, in Washington, DC. The event is free, but advance registrations by e-mail are required: FirstMondayForum.RSVP@gmail.com.

*     *     *

Please share PublicDiplomacy.org ...

May 6 PDAA Brunch Honors Excellence in Public Diplomacy

PDAA 2018 awardees

L-R: Bix Aliu, Adrienne Bory, Amb. Cynthia Efird, Lisa Heller, Tim Marshall, Elizabeth Thornhill, chair, PDAA Awards Committee (A. Kotok)

Update 11 May 2018) PDAA held its 2018 awards program that honored excellence in public diplomacy on Sunday, May 6, 2018 at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC. In all but five years since 1993, PDAA has honored professionals in government agencies and non-government organizations working in more than 50 countries and in the United States whose work makes a difference in projecting American policies, ideas, and culture to the rest of the world.

The 21st annual PDAA Awards for Achievement in Public Diplomacy recognized the outstanding work conducted over the past year by members of the Foreign Service, Civil Service, Locally Employed Staff (LES), employees of binational centers and American Corners, and EducationUSA advisers.

The winners this year are: Mark Bosse, then Assistant Information Officer in Baghdad and now Acting Public Affairs Officer in Dublin; Shim Jai Ok, Executive Director of the Korean-American Educational (Fulbright) Commission; Adrienne Bory, Information Officer in Panama; and the Public Affairs Section in Bangkok.

Learn more about the Public Diplomacy Achievement Awards recipients, and donations to support the awards.

*     *     *

Please share PublicDiplomacy.org ...

April 9 PDAA Program Explores China’s Leadership Goals and Public Perceptions

Xi Jinping in 2015

Xi Jinping in 2015 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

(Update: 10 April 2018) As China’s economic, military and political influence grow, the world asks how it will project its influence and power internationally, and what internal forces and self-image drives China’s expansion. This timely discussion took place on Monday, April 9, 2018 at DACOR-Bacon House in Washington, D.C.

Some China observers have coined a new phrase ‘sharp power’ to complement already recognized ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ power. Two respected experts, Christopher Walker, Vice President for Studies and Analysis of the National Endowment for Democracy, and Robert Daly, Director of the Kissinger Institute for U.S. – China Relations explored these and related questions.

Christopher Walker at PDAA

Christopher Walker at PDAA lunch program, 9 April 2018 (A. Kotok)

Christopher Walker is Vice President for Studies and Analysis at the National Endowment for Democracy. In this capacity, he oversees the department that is responsible for NED’s multifaceted analytical work, which includes the International Forum for Democratic Studies, a leading center for the analysis and discussion of democratic development. The International Forum pursues it goals through several interrelated initiatives: publishing the Journal of Democracy, the world’s leading publication on the theory and practice of democracy; hosting fellowship programs for international democracy activists, journalists, and scholars; coordinating the Network of Democracy Research Institutes, a global think tank network; and organizing a diverse range of analytical initiatives to explore critical themes relating to democratic development.

Prior to joining the NED, Walker was Vice President for Strategy and Analysis at Freedom House. Prior to Freedom House, he was a senior associate at the EastWest Institute, and program manager at the European Journalism Network. Walker has also served as an Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at New York University. He holds a B.A. degree from Binghamton University and an M.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Walker has testified before congressional committees and appeared regularly in the media. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, New York TimesWashington PostForeign Policy.com, Barron’s, The Far Eastern Economic ReviewFrankfurter Allgemeine ZeitungDie WeltThe Moscow Times, Politico.comJournal of Democracy, and World Affairs. He is co-editor with Larry Diamond and Marc F. Plattner of Authoritarianism Goes Global: The Challenge to Democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, March 2016).

Robert Daly at PDAA

Robert Daly at PDAA lunch progam, 9 April 2018 (A. Kotok)

Robert Daly was named as the second director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center in August 2013.  He came to the Wilson Center from the Maryland China Initiative at the University of Maryland.  Prior to that, he was American Director of the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing.  Robert Daly began work in U.S.-China relations as a diplomat, serving as Cultural Exchanges Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in the late 80s and early 90s.  After leaving the Foreign Service, he taught Chinese at Cornell University, worked on television (北京人在纽约) and theater projects in China as a host, actor, and writer, and helped produce Chinese-language versions of Sesame Street and other Children’s Television Workshop programs.

During the same period, he directed the Syracuse University China Seminar and served as a commentator on Chinese affairs for CNN, the Voice of America, and Chinese television and radio stations.  From 2000 to 2001, he was American Director of the U.S.-China Housing Initiative at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Mr. Daly has testified before Congress on U.S.-China relations and has lectured at scores of Chinese and American institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, the East-West Center, the Asia Society, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.  He has lived in China for 11 years and has interpreted for Chinese leaders, including Jiang Zemin and Li Yuanchao, and American leaders, including Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger.

The program took place on Monday, April 9 at 12:00 pm at DACOR-Bacon House, 1801 F Street NW in Washington, D.C.

*     *     *

Please share PublicDiplomacy.org ...