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PD Inspections Examined at September 26 PDAA Lunch Program

(27 August 2016) PDAA will launch its 2016-2017 program year hearing from two highly regarded public diplomacy experts discussing the current state of public diplomacy work around the world.

Kenton Keith

Amb. Kenton Keith (courtesy, Kenton Keith)

Ambassador Kenton Keith and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jeff Brown will offer insights on public diplomacy challenges and successes, gleaned from their experiences inspecting embassy PD operations around the world.  Their careers span a long arc of change and innovation in public diplomacy operations and perspectives over almost half a century.  In retirement, both have inspected numerous overseas posts.

Entitled Inspecting Public Diplomacy – Challenges and Opportunities, the luncheon program will be held on Monday, September 26, 2016 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.

The Department of State’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) inspects each of the approximately 260 diplomatic posts, and international broadcasting installations throughout the world, as well as domestic bureaus, to determine whether policy goals are being achieved and whether the interests of the United States are being represented and advanced effectively.  Preparations for OIG visits and findings from inspection reports compel PD mission personnel to look critically at their operations and outcomes, and to make changes as necessary.

Recent OIG reports, for example, have highlighted major disinformation challenges facing public affairs staff in Iraq, significant management weaknesses in Tokyo and overly centralized operations in Mexico that are impeding effective public diplomacy operations.

Jefferson Brown

Jefferson Brown (Dept. of State)

Ambassador Kenton Keith spent 33 years as a foreign service officer with the United States Information Agency, becoming an expert on Near East, North Africa and South Asian affairs.  He was ambassador to Qatar from 1992-1995.  He retired in 1977 after serving in many posts overseas and in Washington, receiving two Presidential meritorious service awards. Keith was recalled to service as special envoy to Islamabad in 2001. After retirement, he served as vice president at the Meridian Center until 2010, and continues to lecture and serve on many advisory boards and councils related to diplomacy, public affairs and international education.

Jefferson Brown retired in 2015 as the deputy assistant secretary for public diplomacy in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. From 2010 to 2013, he was deputy chief of mission at U.S. Embassy Buenos Aires, Argentina and at the U.S. Embassy in Quito, Ecuador from 2005 to 2008.  Brown was director for multilateral affairs at the National Security Center and the director of the Office of UNESCO Affairs.  Other overseas assignments include: minister counselor for press and cultural affairs in Mexico City; cultural attaché in Brazil; and press attaché in Paraguay, El Salvador, and Portugal. From 1995-97, he served as executive assistant to the counselor of the United States Information Agency.  He was director of the Foreign Press Center 1998 to 2000. From 1998 through 2000, he was a senior advisor in the State Department’s Office of Policy Planning, working on democracy initiatives.  Brown frequently lectures at the Foreign Service Institute on public diplomacy to PD and non-PD officers.

The PDAA program takes place on Monday, September 26, 2016 at 12 noon, at the DACOR-Bacon House, 1801 F St NW, Washington DC.  The deadline for reservations is Thursday, September 22.  The cost is $35.00 for PDAA members and their guests, and $42.00 for non-members.  You can reserve online with a credit card by clicking the Add to Cart button below:


Select appropriate price from the drop-down menu



Rather reserve through the mail. Download and return this brief registration form with your check, made payable to PDAA, to treasurer Jim Bullock, 319 E Street SE, Washington, DC 20003.

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Murrow Center Director Featured at Next First Monday Forum

Edward Schumacher-Matos

Edward Schumacher-Matos (Fletcher School, Tufts University)

(23 July 2016). Edward Schumacher-Matos, director of the Edward R. Murrow Center at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts will be the featured speaker at the next First Monday Forum on 1 August 2016. The discussion takes place at American Foreign Service Association in Washington, D.C., but at a different time than usual: 12: 45 pm.

The Edward R. Murrow Center for a Digital World is part of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, which analyzes, “the changing flows of digital information across borders, as well as the impact of those rapidly shifting changes on diplomacy, the news media, and global order.” The Murrow Center provides training in practical communications skills for students, as well as classes, workshops, and mentoring in opinion writing, video, podcasts, and web design.

Edward Schumacher-Matos joined the Murrow Center as director in the fall of 2015. He is a graduate of the Fletcher School, who went on to a career in journalism, media entrepreneurship, and the academic world. He worked as a reporter for the Boston Globe, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal, where he founded the The Wall Street Journal Americas edition. Later, Schumacher-Matos started a chain of Spanish-language newspapers in Houston, Austin, San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley.

In the academic world, Schumacher-Matos held faculty positions at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and as a Shorenstein Fellow on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, where he also began the school’s Migration and Integration Studies Program. Schumacher-Matos later became a professor of First Amendment issues at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he also taught classes in digital strategy, reporting, and international news analysis.

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, 1 August 2016, and begins at a special time: 12:45 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: FirstMondayForum.RSVP@gmail.com.

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Favorable Views of U.S. Continue in Canada, Europe, Asia

Europeans express confidence in Obama and Clinton, but not Trump
(4 July 2016). Opinions of the U.S. continue to be largely positive among publics in Europe and Asia, as well as Canada, according to surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center in April and May 2016. Results of the surveys from 15 countries, reported last week, also show more residents consider the U.S. the world’s leading economic power in the world, eclipsing China in most nations polled.

The Pew surveys report majorities of publics in 13 of the 15 countries surveyed have a favorable rather than unfavorable overall opinion of the U.S., which in France, Poland, Spain, the U.K., and Japan have continued since 2009. At least 7 in 10 of those surveyed in Poland (74%), Italy (72%), Japan (72%), and Sweden (69%) view the U.S. favorably. Only in Greece does a majority (58%) have an unfavorable opinion of the U.S., while in China the percentage with a favorable view of the U.S. (50%) is not much greater than the unfavorable share (44%).

The Pew surveys report younger residents of the 15 countries tend to be those with the most favorable opinions of the U.S. About 6 in 10 people age 18 to 34 in India (61%) and China (60%) have a favorable view of the U.S., compared to about half (49%) of those age 50 and over in India and about a third (35%) in China in that age group. Only in Sweden is the pattern reversed, where about 3 in 4 (77%) of those 50 and over hold a favorable opinion of the U.S., compared to 59% of people age 18 to 34.

Most of the residents in the countries surveyed support the U.S.-led military effort against Islamic State, from just over half in Japan (52%) and Hungary (53%) to 8 in 10 or more in France (84%) and Sweden (81%). The share of residents opposed to the U.S.-led campaign approaches 4 in 10 in Japan (37%) and Hungary (36%), but the number of residents opposed do not break 3 in 10 in other countries surveyed. The exception to this pattern is Greece, where less than half (48%) approve of military actions against Islamic State, while almost an equal percentage (45%) are opposed. Interviewers did not ask this question in China.

At least a plurality, if not outright majorities, of residents in 10 of the 15 countries countries polled consider the U.S. the leading economic power in the world. Some 6 in 10 residents of Japan (61%) and Hungary (59%) rate the U.S. as the top economic power, as do about half of Indians (51%). A quarter or less of those surveyed in these countries consider China the leading economic power. Less than half, but still pluralities rate the U.S. ahead of China and other competitors (EU, Japan) in Sweden, China, Greece, Italy, U.K., Netherlands, and Poland.

About equal percentages of residents of France, Canada, Spain, and Germany — between 3 to 4 in 10 — rate the U.S. and China as top economic powers in the world. Only in Australia does a majority (52%) see China as the world’s economic leader, compared to about a third (32%) that sees the U.S. in this role. For comparison, a sample of U.S. residents was also asked this question, with a majority (54%) saying the U.S. is the leading economic power in the world, compared to about a third (34%) who say China.

Among political personalities in the U.S., President Obama in the countries surveyed continues to attract confidence in his judgment to do the right thing in world affairs. Large majorities — 8 in 10 or more — of residents in Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, France, U.K., Australia — expressed confidence in Obama doing the right thing regarding world affairs, as do half to three-quarters of residents in Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Japan, India, and China. The exception to this pattern again is Greece where a majority (58%) have no confidence in President Obama’s foreign policy judgment. By comparison, Americans divide largely in favor of those expressing confidence (58%) President Obama will do the right thing in foreign affairs to 40 percent who have no confidence.

Among the presumptive major party candidates in the U.S., survey respondents overall show much more confidence in Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump. In Japan, Australia, Canada, and most European countries, majorities or large pluralities of residents have confidence Clinton will do the right thing in foreign affairs. The exceptions are Greece where 78 percent have no confidence in Clinton, as well as China which is split about evenly between confidence and no confidence, and India where more than half of the residents have no opinion. Donald Trump, on the other hand, generates no confidence almost across the board. In India, only about a third of the residents answered the question.

Results for the survey are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International and TNS BMRB. The results are based on national samples, unless otherwise noted, during April and May 2016. Confidence intervals, sometimes called margins of error, ranged from 3.2 to 4.6 percent in each country sample.

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Iraqi Attitudes, News Sources Explored at First Monday Forum

Iraqis taking photo with a phone

Iraqi women using a mobile phone to take their photo. (BBG.gov)

Update, 23 July 2016. A report and link to a video of the meeting are available on the Public Diplomacy Council Web site.

(27 June 2016). Two experts on public attitudes and media behavior in Iraq will examine changes in public opinion in that country, as well as ways people in Iraq get their news at the next First Monday Forum, 11 July 2016, at American Foreign Service Association in Washington, D.C.

Analyzing these issues are Diana Turecek, Director of Audience Research at Middle East Broadcast Networks, and Mohamed Younis, senior analyst for Middle East and North Africa at the Gallup Inc. Turecek joined Middle East Broadcast Networks in February 2012, after serving nearly four years as regional research manager for Middle East and Africa at InterMedia Survey Institute.

Younis is Gallup’s expert on the Middle East and North Africa, and also serves as a senior analyst for the Gallup World Poll. His research at Gallup focuses on employment challenges in the Arab world and relations between Muslim majority and Western societies. In addition, Younis leads a Gallup initiative on advanced analytics, integrating Gallup’s findings with external data sources.

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, 11 July 2016 at 12 noon, 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: FirstMondayForum.RSVP@gmail.com.

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Carter-Era Public Diplomacy History Released

John Reinhardt and Walter Mondale

John Reinhardt, right, after being sworn in as Director of the International Communication Agency by Vice-President Walter Mondale. (Department of State)

(12 June 2016) Department of State on 8 June released its official history of public diplomacy during the administration of President Jimmy Carter, 1977 to 1980. The volume covers the merger of U.S. Information Agency with State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in 1977, and establishment of International Communication Agency in 1978.

According to a statement from the Department, the work …

illustrates the varied efforts of USIA/ICA to conceptualize and administer a vast array of cultural initiatives and programming, including film and television programs, exhibits, and international conferences. Of note is the high-level documentation of USIA/ICA Director John Reinhardt, a former Ambassador who served in both USIA and the Department of State, and his efforts to engage with the USIA/ICA community during a time of transition. It also focuses on the Department of State’s public diplomacy efforts, notably people-to-people, cultural, and educational exchanges.

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1977–1980, Volume XXX, Public Diplomacy is available for download as an e-book from Department of State.

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Amb. John Reinhardt Burial Set for 7 June

Amb. John E. Reinhardt

Amb. John E. Reinhardt (Wikimedia Commons)

The family of the Ambassador John Reinhardt says his burial will occur on Tuesday, 7 June 2016 at Arlington National Cemetery. Participants are invited to join the family at 8:00 am at Arlington cemetery’s administrative building. He died on 18 February in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Amb. Reinhardt was named director of U.S. Information Agency by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 and led the agency to its larger role under a new name: U.S. International Communications Agency. The expanded agency included cultural exchange functions performed at State Department. Under President Ronald Reagan, the agency’s name reverted to U.S. Information Agency, but the expanded functions remained.

Amb. Reinhardt was the first career diplomat to lead the agency. John Reinhardt was named U.S. ambassador to Nigeria by President Nixon and later served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. He joined the foreign service after receiving a doctorate in American literature from University in Wisconsin, and teaching at Virginia State College in Petersburg. Before being named ambassador, he served in Philippines, Japan, and Iran, as well as USIA’s assistant director for Africa and East Asia.

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