May 6 PDAA Brunch Honors Excellence in Public Diplomacy

Brunch plate

(Carissa Gan, Unsplash)

(Update 10 April 2018) Please reserve your seats now for the 2018 annual awards program where PDAA celebrates its tradition of honoring excellence in public diplomacy. The awards ceremony and brunch are held Sunday, May 6, 2018 at the centrally located and beautiful Army and Navy Club, beginning at 12 noon.

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 recognizes 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.

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

Tickets for the event this year are $45.00 per person.

The Army and Navy Club is located at 901 17th St NW, between I and K Streets in Washington, DC. The club is easily accessible by Metro, just one block from either the Farragut North or Farragut West stations. On Sunday, there is street parking available in the area. However, for those who would like valet parking, it is available at a cost of $13.00.

This year’s menu includes:

— Seasonal fresh fruit and berries
— Assorted breakfast breads, muffins & croissants with honey butter and fruit preserves
— House-cured smoked salmon
— Assorted bagels and herbed cream cheese
— Bacon and sausage links
— Breakfast potatoes
— Seasonal vegetables
— Eggs benedict
— Pecan crusted trout with butternut squash risotto and maple butter

The event begins with mimosas at 12:00 pm, followed by brunch at 12:30 pm, and the awards program at 1:30 pm.

The deadline for reservations is Friday, April 27. You can reserve online and pay with a credit card, by clicking on the Add to Cart button below.

Would you rather make your reservations by mail? Please complete this brief form and send with your check, payable to PDAA, to our treasurer James Bullock, 319 E St SE, Washington, DC 20003.

Please note: This is a more formal, and expensive, event than our regular lunch programs, and our first event at this venue. Seating and meal service for walk-ins may not be possible. Please send in your payments early, well ahead of the deadline, to avoid disappointment.

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Alberto Fernandez Featured at April’s Monday Forum

Amb. Alberto Fernandez

Amb. Alberto Fernandez (, 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:

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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, 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.

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Global Ties Names Katherine Brown as President, CEO

Katherine Brown

Katherine Brown (Global Ties U.S.)

(10 March 2018) Global Ties U.S., an advocacy organization for international people-to-people exchanges, named Katherine Brown as its president and CEO, effective 9 April. She joins Global Ties U.S. after serving as public policy manager at Facebook, Inc., where she was also in residence as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow.

From 2013-2016, Brown served as Executive Director of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, a body authorized by Congress to oversee and promote U.S. government activities that intend to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics.

Previously, she held numerous roles in government, including assistant to the White House national security adviser; communications adviser for the U.S. Embassy in Kabul; and professional staff member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the U.S. House of Representatives.

Brown also served on the boards of the Center on Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California and the Global Ties Foundation. She is a non-resident senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in communications from Columbia University and B.A. from the George Washington University.

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Spain’s Public Diplomacy Featured at March 2018 Monday Forum

Olympic Ring Park

Olympic Ring Park in Barcelona, Spain (A. Kotok)

(24 February 2018) Public diplomacy as practiced by Spain is the focus of the First Monday Forum in March 2018, set for 12 noon on 5 March 2018 at the Elliott School on the George Washington University campus. Leading the discussion is Cristina Fraile, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Fraile began her tour as DCM in Washington in August 2015, after serving as director of the Human Rights Office in Spain’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, beginning in July 2011. She previously served as deputy head of mission in Spain’s embassies in Vienna and New Delhi, following her tour in the foreign ministry’s international legal affairs office. Ms. Fraile has a law degree from Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

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, 5 March at a different location from many of the previous programs: 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:

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Debate Over Values and Interests in Foreign Policy Highlights Santa Fe Forum

Word cloud

(Santa Fe World Affairs Forum)

(24 February 2018) Today a debate over fundamental values rages within the U.S. and abroad between the pursuit of American interests and the image of American values that transcend day-to-day policies. That debate is the theme of this year’s Santa Fe World Affairs Forum, April 9-10 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And if you’re a member of PDAA, you qualify for a discounted registration rate.

American foreign policy since World War II has relied upon soft power – the ability to influence others based on key human values. Since World War II, the US goal has been to project its image as a nation that is not only strong, but also “good,” drawing on the idea of American exceptionalism to persuade others that the country is the “shining city on the hill” and a democratic “beacon of freedom” in a troubled world.

Yet U.S. foreign policy has also been guided by national self-interest. This pursuit has at times conflicted with our aspirations and led to less than admirable policies implemented through counter-productive means that diminished America’s standing in the world.

The Forum this year features a list of speakers with first-hand experience dealing with these issues:

  • Daniel Baer, Ambassador (rtd), Diplomat in Residence, Josef Korbel School of International Affairs, Denver University. US Ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (2013-17)
  • Michael Battle, US Ambassador (rtd) to the African Union, academic, university provost, military chaplain and most recently Executive Vice President/Provost at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Ralph Begleiter, founding Director of the Center for Political Communication, University of Delaware and former world affairs correspondent at CNN
  • Beatrice Camp, Senior Foreign Service Officer (rtd), former US Consul General Shanghai, and PDAA member
  • Laura S.H. Holgate, Ambassador (rtd), Senior Nonresident Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
  • Dr. Elizabeth Manak, South Asia and nonproliferation specialist, 30 year plus CIA officer and Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia in the National Intelligence Council
  • Dr. James L West, Professor of History and Humanities. Middlebury College 1995-2011

This year’s Forum takes place at Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Monday and Tuesday, April 9-10, 2018. The deadline for reservations is Wednesday, April 4. Members of PDAA can register at the discounted partner rates posted on the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum (SFWAF) web site.

More details about the program, speakers, location, and registration can be found on the SFWAF web site.

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