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Rising Populism in Europe and the US Explored at November PDAA Lunch Program

Marine Le Pen

French National Front leader Marine Le Pen at a rally in May 2012 (Blandine Le Cain, Flickr)

Reservations are now closed.

The growing strength of populist movements across the globe alarms many observers in the media.  Their election victories in Europe and the US shocked mainstream parties and their allies.  PDAA’s November 13 PDAA luncheon program will hear from outstanding European correspondents about the political landscape in their respective countries and their view of Washington’s current political standoff.  The conversation will be moderated by our very own Claude Porsella.  Please join us!

David Smith is The Guardian’s Washington DC bureau chief.

David has been Washington correspondent of The Guardian since November 2015, reporting on the White House, Supreme Court and US presidential election.  He attended numerous Donald Trump campaign rallies and presidential press conferences and the Trump victory party in New York on election night. He was previously Africa correspondent based in Johannesburg, and covered the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, and the death of Nelson Mandela, as well as elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe. A graduate of the University of Leeds, David was based in the UK for the Daily Express and The Observer and reported on conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NPR and broadcasters in Australia, Austria, Canada, Ireland and the UK.

Peter DeThier is Washington Correspondent for many German language media houses, including SüdwestPresse, Finanz und Wirtschaft, and ZEIT Online among others.

Peter writes on US Presidential politics, European-American relations, foreign and national security policy, trade and economic policy, Federal Reserve policy, among other issues of interest to European readers.  He was Economics Editor at the German daily “DIE WELT” and for over 20 years has been the Washington based political and economic correspondent for leading European print and online media.  He recently published a book in German on the occasion of what would have been President John F. Kennedy’s 100th birthday.  He has a Master’s Degree from the Vienna University of Economics and Business in Vienna, Austria.

Philip Crowther is the White House correspondent for France 24 and Washington correspondent for the English-language service of Radio France Internationale.

Philip has been the Washington correspondent for France 24’s English-language service since 2011 and White House correspondent since 2014. He also reports for Radio France Internationale. He covers US diplomacy, foreign policy and current affairs. He reports from around the country on breaking news stories and travelled extensively during the 2012 and 2016 presidential election campaigns. He is now covering the Trump administration and was the president of the White House Foreign Press Group during the transition.  He also comments for CNN, MSNBC, Radio-Canada, and other major news networks. Before moving to Washington, Philip Crowther was a reporter and news anchor at France 24 in Paris, covering events in Ghana, Angola, South Africa, Germany, the United Kingdom, as well as the revolution in Libya.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from King’s College London, and a postgraduate diploma in from the London College of Communication (University of the Arts, London).

The program will be moderated by PDAA board member, Claude Porsella.  Claude was VOA French Service Chief and is now a contributor to Radio France Internationale (RFI) and Moroccan radio station Medi 1″.

He has observed the Washington scene for 50 years, explaining to foreign audiences American politics and the American way of life. He has reported all the big stories of the last five decades, from the assassination of MLK and Robert Kennedy, the first landing on the moon to 9/11, and the election of the first African-American President. He has covered 13 presidential elections from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump.

This PDAA program takes place Monday, November 13 at 12 noon, at DACOR-Bacon House, 1801 F Street NW in Washington, DC.  The deadline for reservations is November 9, 2017.  We look forward to seeing you there.

 

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Finland’s Centennial and Public Diplomacy Examined at Monday Forum

Amb. Kirsti Kauppi

Amb. Kirsti Kauppi (Embassy of Finland)

(23 September 2017) The ambassador to the U.S. from Finland will describe the key role played by public diplomacy in that country’s centennial celebration at the next First Monday Forum, set for Monday, 2 October 2017 beginning at 12:00 noon, at American Foreign Service Association in Washington, D.C.

Amb. Kirsti Kauppi is the featured speaker at this month’s program, where she will discuss events and activities designed to bring together Americans and Finns during 2017, the country’s centennial year. She became ambassador in September 2015, after serving since 2012 as Director General for Political Affairs in that country’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Amb. Kauppi previously was the ministry’s Director General for Africa and the Middle East, and permanent representative to the UN-related organizations in Vienna, Austria where she also served on the IAEA board of governors.

Monday forums are a joint project of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, Public Diplomacy Council, and PDAA – an association of public diplomacy professionals. The event takes place on Monday, 2 October 2017, 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: FirstMondayForum.RSVP@gmail.com.

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Atlantic Council Report Calls For Separate Public Diplomacy Agency

Revised State Department organization chart

(Atlantic Council)

(16 September 2017) A Washington, DC think tank recommends forming a stand-alone agency devoted to public diplomacy under the rubric of State Department. The Atlantic Council issued its assessment of State Department’s mission and organization on 6 September 2017, prepared at the request of Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The panel preparing the report consisted of former high-level officials at State Department and National Security Council, as well as representatives from universities, business, and law.

In putting together the pieces into a coherent structure at State Department, panel members found two functions requiring special skills and having unique budgetary demands: foreign assistance and public diplomacy. The committee considered three options for organizing these functions into an overall State Department structure, ranging from complete integration to independent agencies reporting to the president, and settled on stand-alone agencies under the State Department umbrella.

The recommendation on public diplomacy says …

Public Diplomacy should be considered to form a stand-alone agency within the department somewhat like USAID. Because of different skills required, especially in program management and information operations, it should have its own personnel, assignments process, budget, and so forth. It would report to the secretary.

The entity named Agency for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, like USAID …

… would report to the secretary, have a rank equivalent with the deputy secretary of state, and have full autonomy in budget creation subject to the secretary of state’s personal approval; they would also have separate personnel in the foreign and civil service recruited and trained for their special, heavily program-dominated tasks, and operate overseas and in Washington in close conjunction with State but at a sufficient distance that their funds and people could not be co-opted or absorbed by State to the detriment of the special mission they perform.

The full report is found on the Atlantic Council web site.

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Public Diplomacy Amidst Fake News Explored at Sept. 25 PDAA Lunch

Matryoshka dolls

(Jacqueline Macou, Pixabay)

(Updated 23 September 2017) Reservations are now closed.

Fake News and Disinformation:  we cannot watch the news, surf the Internet, or even carry on a social conversation without hearing the words.  Whether from U.S. political leaders and spokespersons, foreign governments, media figures, violent extremists, “tweeters” “bloggers,” or bots, we face an almost-constant onslaught of fake news, “alternative facts,” or disinformation.  Sifting fact from fiction has become increasingly challenging for citizens needing accurate information in order to make informed decisions.  Many have said that fake news and disinformation are among the gravest threats facing our democracy.

Yet difficult as they are for citizens of the United States and other democracies, fake news and disinformation pose an even greater challenge to diplomacy, and particularly to public diplomacy.   How can today’s public diplomacy professionals—whose job it is to explain the United States and U.S. policy and seek to persuade the citizens and governments of other countries to support those policies—do their jobs in the face of this omnipresent fake news and disinformation?

Susan Stevenson

Susan Stevenson, at PDAA lunch program (A. Kotok)

To help us answer this question, PDAA was very fortunate to have three senior State Department officials as speakers at our first luncheon of the 2017-2018 program year.  Susan Stevenson is Acting Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Department of State.  A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, she previously served in Washington as the Chief of Staff to the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Director of the Under Secretary’s Office of Policy, Planning and Resources, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Director of the Foreign Press Centers.  Overseas, Ms. Stevenson was the U.S. Consul General in Chiang Mai, Thailand, following assignments in Beijing, Hong Kong, Mexico City and Bangkok.  She has lectured extensively on government-media relations and holds degrees in multinational management and French from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Jonathan Henick

Jonathan Henick, at PDAA lunch program (A. Kotok)

Jonathan Henick, a member of the Senior Foreign Service, currently serves as Acting Coordinator for International Information Programs. He served previously as the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary and Director for Press and Public Diplomacy in the Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs where he was responsible for the conduct of U.S. public diplomacy in 13 countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.  He has also served overseas as the Counselor for Public Affairs in Turkey, the Deputy Chief of Mission in Timor-Leste, as well as in other positions in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Portugal, and Uzbekistan.  He has worked as a Public Diplomacy Fellow and Professor at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs and as a visiting Research Fellow and Diplomat-in-Residence at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.  He has received the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association Achievement Award, as well as individual Superior Honor Awards from the State Department.  Originally from New York, he speaks Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, and Azerbaijani, and holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawaii and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University.

Adele Ruppe

Adele Ruppe, at PDAA lunch program (A. Kotok)

Adele Ruppe is Chief of Staff in the Global Engagement Center.  Previously, she served as Public Diplomacy Office Director for the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR); Deputy Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the embassy in New Delhi, India; Counselor for Public Affairs at the embassy in Brasilia, Brazil; and Senior Special Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.  Other assignments include Madrid, Moscow, Mexico City, San Jose (Costa Rica), and EUR’s Front Office.  She has a BS in Computer Science from Duke University, a MBA from the University of Michigan, and a MS from the National Defense University.

This important and stimulating program took place on Monday, September 25, from 12:00 to 2:00, at DACOR Bacon House, 1801 F St., NW.

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State and Art of Digital Diplomacy Explored at Monday Forum

Working at a computer

(Stux, Pixabay)

(15 August 2016). The state and art of digital diplomacy is the focus of the next First Monday Forum, set for Monday, 11 September 2017 beginning at 12:00 noon, at American Foreign Service Association in Washington, D.C. (The actual first Monday in September is the Labor Day holiday.)

On the date exactly 16 years after 9-11, the discussion will examine new methods needed to communicate effectively in a digital environment. An expert panel of public diplomacy practitioners and technologists will explore this question:

  • Matt Chessen, Senior Technology Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of State
  • Jennifer Lambert, Deputy Director of Analytics, International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State
  • Luke Peterson, Director of Analytics, International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State
  • Lovisa Williams, Digital Strategist, PD’s Office of Policy, Planning, and Resources, U.S. Department of State

Shawn Powers, Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, will serve as moderator

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, joined for the first time by PDAA, an association of public diplomacy professionals. The event takes place on Monday, 11 September 2017, 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: FirstMondayForum.RSVP@gmail.com.

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Education and Public Diplomacy Explored in August Monday Forum

Students taking selfies

(ECA.State.gov)

(22 July 2017) Public diplomacy in education at the state and local levels will be the focus of the next First Monday Forum. The event takes place on Monday, 7 August, beginning at 12:00 noon, at American Foreign Service Association in Washington, D.C.

While public diplomacy is planned and funded by nations, its actual practice is often carried out by states and localities, particularly in the schools. The discussion will be led by Phil Noble, a technology entrepreneur and civic sector activist, as well as fellow at the Institute of Politics of the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University. He also serves on various advisory and editorial boards at ten other colleges and universities in the U.S. and internationally.

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 August 2017, 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: FirstMondayForum.RSVP@gmail.com.

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