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Back Issues of PDAA Today

Back issues of PDAA Today, PDAA’s quarterly print newsletter are now online and available for download.

Feb. 24 Program to Focus on The Power of Public Diplomacy: Leading Today’s Challenges. The First Three Feet

Ambassador Jean Manes (L) will speak at the February 24 PDAA luncheon.

Ambassador Jean Manes will speak at the Mon., Feb. 24, 2020, PDAA luncheon. She will focus on the challenges facing today’s public diplomacy practitioners.

Manes is currently the deputy to the commander and foreign affairs advisor at U.S. Southern Command in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. She previously served as ambassador to El Salvador and principal deputy coordinator at the former Bureau of International Information Programs. She has an extensive background in public diplomacy, serving as the Counselor for Public Affairs in Kabul, staff director of resources in the office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, and cultural affairs offer in Brasilia. She is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and holds a master’s degree in International Administration from American University.

Amb. Manes received the PDAA Public Diplomacy Achievement Award in 2012.

The discussion will take place on Mon., Feb. 24, from 12:00 to 2:00, at DACOR-Bacon House, 1801 F St. NW. To register, please complete the form on page 7 of the newsletter or register on-line using the drop-down menu below. Deadline is Feb. 20.

 


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Lois Marie Herrmann (1945 – 2020)

Lois Marie Herrmann, beloved daughter of Helen and Gustav Herrmann of Long Island, New York, died on January 14, 2020, at Georgetown University Hospital, with loving friends at her bedside. A long-time resident of Washington, DC, Lois was 74 years old when overtaken by cancer after a battle in which she radiated grace and courage throughout. Her sudden passing has struck the hearts of her large family of devoted friends-here in Washington, across the United States, and overseas-with profound grief.

Lois was born in New York City on January 26, 1945, and grew up near the water on the North Shore of Long Island where she developed her life-long love of swimming. Her happiest memories were of summer swims in the ocean, swimming holes, and pools. Lois went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree at Cornell University and her Master’s at Stanford University.

Lois began her career at the Foreign Student Service Council in Washington, DC, and went on to become a highly accomplished member of the US Department of State, serving first in the Foreign Service and later in the Civil Service. She began her government career in the United States Information Agency (1976-1999) and concluded her fulltime State Department service in the Bureau of Public Affairs (1999-2014). She loved her overseas postings in Venezuela, Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia. Writing and editing were key skills Lois put to great effect, drafting speeches, public testimony, and op-ed articles for senior State Department officials. She also played a leading role in press operations for several Presidential summits and major international conferences, including the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh (2009), the President’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington (2010), and the G8 Summit in Camp David (2012). She was proud to have served on State Department-wide Task Forces on world political and humanitarian crises including South Sudan, Ukraine and the response to the Asian tsunami (2004). She also published travel articles in the Christian Science Monitor and The Washington Star.

Lois served as a member of the boards of the Public Diplomacy Association of America (PDAA); the Stanford University Alumni Association; and the Theodore H. Barth Foundation, Inc., a philanthropic foundation supporting community health and welfare and the arts.

After her retirement, she volunteered at the Smithsonian with the Steinway Diary Project before returning to work part-time at the State Department, and she enjoyed personal travel through much of the world.

Lois considered her life’s most important endeavor to have looked after her mother during her mother’s last 12 years. The devotion she gave to her mother was easily recognizable in the love she showed her friends, her close bonds with animals of every species-but especially cats-and the kindness, wisdom, and loyalty she gave to all. Her spirit had a beauty and tenderness that will forever touch the hearts of all those who will miss her so greatly.

A memorial service will be held at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle St. NW, Washington, DC, 20016, at 11 AM on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Reception to follow.

Donations in Lois’s memory may be made to St. Columba’s Episcopal Church.

Published online on January 21, 2020 courtesy of RAPP Funeral and Cremation Services .

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Linda Jewell – an Appreciation

Linda Jewell

Jazz Piano Christmas, an annual popular feature in the Kennedy Center’s jazz concert series, won’t be the same this year.

One of the last conversations I had with Linda confirmed that come December 7, as in years gone by, we’d again go to the Christmas program together. She wanted to know if, while she was buying tickets for herself and husband John Walsh, I had any recommendations for other, later concerts. I said we liked a French group, the Django Festival Allstars, and we left it at that for the time being, pending arrangements for a pre-concert dinner we’d enjoyed together before.

Linda died Monday morning in Washington Hospital Center at the age of 66, a week after returning from France when the cancer she had been fighting since May flared up again, obviously metastatic. She had never been sick before and her only hospitalizations had been for the birth of their two children, now adults. On one of those occasions in Washington, with her parents not yet arrived from Little Rock, Linda, with a new baby, asked Pat Chatten to ferry her home from the hospital with the new addition. Later, she had been the one to sit with me while surgeons were attending Pat. When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer but had to wait two months to schedule surgery at Johns Hopkins, it seemed logical to change that depressing subject and wait it out with old friends in Costa Rica, where she was DCM/Chargé d’Affaires.

We met in the spring of 1983 when I fell ill on a Senior Seminar trip to Mexico and the ten USIS American staffers in Mexico City, including economics program officer Linda and press officer John, visited me in the hospital, for an eccentric introduction to the guy assigned to become their PAO that summer. It was Linda’s second overseas tour, after Indonesia, and John’s third, and we got to know each other quickly and well. It was soon apparent that Linda was a star, bringing just the right Mexican government and academic leaders together with just the right American visitors, combining work ethic, program sensitivities, and the personal touch necessary to access Mexican personalities and sensitivities.

On the personal front, our music tastes meshed, spending time with a contact of mine, host of a popular pop and jazz radio program.

As the years passed, we stayed close, and though often worlds apart physically, we found ways to intersect. Pat and I landed on Linda and John in India, where they organized the most memorable of trips, east in the Himalayas to once-independent Sikkim and west to stay in former Maharajah palaces in Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Udaipur, places either they had been (west) or were forbidden as diplomats to visit (east). Linda followed me as USIA Latin America Area Director, three times removed, and I tracked down a half dozen former Area Directors for a dinner/reception at our house to celebrate her new job. Come the 1999 demise of USIA, she was integrated into State’s ARA Bureau, ultimately as a Deputy Assistant Secretary and then as Ambassador to Ecuador, where I had served my first PAO assignment. On a visit to them there, she delighted some of my former contacts with invitations to The Residence, one of whom ran a popular radio station and had been jailed for his irreverent attitude toward the government. I had sent him north on an international visitor grant and bought 50 copies of his book on the U.S., USA Mas o Menos.

One of my post-USIA gigs took me as a USAID contractor to wintery Moldova in the former USSR and its early efforts to privatize its economy. Coming down from those adventures, I headed for home via Warsaw on Air Moldova for R and R with Linda and John, where he was “culture” in the USIS shop and she was “information” and part time acting PAO in the Baltics. On a day when weather closed every airport in Europe, Air Moldova pilots either didn’t get the word or took it as a challenge to their masculinity. I was not surprised to find Linda and John at the airport to welcome me.

Two stories illuminate for me the Linda I knew and loved:

  • As a Foreign Service Officer with public diplomacy in her genes, the Ambassador to Quito tasked every member of her country team to have regular personal interaction with their Ecuadoran contacts. And in what became an important way in which she was known both personally and professionally, Ecuadorans saw her as the first American Ambassador in memory to visit every province in the country.
  • And in retirement, she volunteered to advise undocumented immigrants on where to find help for their predicaments because, “I didn’t want to just stay mad all the time.”

Robert Chatten
November 20, 2019

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Linda Jewell — Additional Appreciations

by Colonel (Ret.) Mark S. Wikins

This photo shows Linda Jewell doing what Foreign Service Officers do best. In 2007, we were working hard with the Ecuadorian military to close off their northern border with Colombia to FARC activities. At that time, the FARC was actively using Ecuadorian territory for all kinds of logistical and support activities. Amb. Jewell, seen here in front of a US transport aircraft, accompanied us right up to the border, where we toured Ecuadorian military facilities and listened to commanders brief how they were organizing to control activities within their assigned areas. It was the first time ever (as far as we could tell) that a US Ambassador visited a “hot” area and all the Ecuadorian Army commanders were impressed, to say the least. This was the Amb Jewell I admired and was privileged to serve alongside.

(Col. Wilkins served twice with Amb. Jewell: Once in Costa Rica when she was the Chargé d’Affaires for an extended period of time and again in Ecuador, where he served as her Defense and Army Attaché.)


by Susan Damowitz

Linda’s death is an immeasurable loss to her family, to her colleagues, friends, and people who will never know her. One of the smartest people I have ever known, she could have been an intimidating mentor to a clueless new Foreign Service Officer (me), but she was the best mentor anyone could have, not only professionally, but personally. Her integrity, intelligence, wit, generosity, empathy, leadership, courage, and grace only scratch the surface of who she was. Like her, I was a mother of small children, sometimes struggling to balance work and home; she exemplified, for me, how to sort out priorities, and be an engaged parent and human being, while working for the Department of State. She was a legendary manager and supervisor – humane, effective, hard-working; and she set the standard against which I measured all the managers I ever worked for, and the standard which I tried to emulate when it was my turn to manage.

Her work after retirement benefitted many, and her volunteer activities were helping to mitigate the cruelty of the current administration’s immigration policies.

We will miss her enormously. Thank you, dear friend, for making a difference in the world.


by Greta Morris

I first met Linda Jewel and her husband, John Walsh, in 1978 in Jakarta, Indonesia. They were on their first Foreign Service tour with the U.S. Information Service. I was in Jakarta as a Foreign Service spouse. Linda and John and my late husband and I became friends and shared some fascinating excursions to different parts of Indonesia. I learned from John and Linda about the work of USIS and the challenges and rewards of being a “tandem couple.” I was searching for a purpose and a career, and it sounded like exactly the kind of work I would be interested in. I took the Foreign Service exam and in 1980, I entered the Foreign Service—the U.S. International Communication Agency, as USIA was called at that time. John and Linda and my husband and I never served together again, but we saw each other between postings and on Washington assignments. In 1992, when my husband died suddenly, Linda and John became my support network. They invited me over for dinner on a regular basis. We were all in language study that year: Linda and John in Polish and I in Thai. Linda called me on a weekly basis to see how I was doing and share stories of the challenges of learning a “hard language.” I looked forward to those calls: they provided a lifeline.

As a fellow woman FSO, Linda was my role model. She was smart, dedicated to her career, and worked hard, but she always had time for other people. After we both retired in 2008, we served together in PDAA and PDC.

After Linda’s diagnosis with cancer, we stayed in touch. I was fortunate to see her a few times between her treatments and family get-togethers and travel. The last time I saw her was right before she and John took a trip to France and Belgium. I had just returned from France and shared tips about hotels, restaurants, museums, and other attractions in Honfleur, where I had spent a week. I was delighted to receive a couple of e-mails from Linda during their trip; she seemed to be having a wonderful time. It was such a shock, and a great sadness, to learn of her passing shortly after her return to Washington. I will greatly miss her friendship, her dedication to public service and the highest American values, and her joie de vivre.


Ambassador Morris and other members of the PDAA Board of Directors.

Ambassador Greta Morris was previously President of PDAA.

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Our People and Our Values Are the Core of U.S. International Leadership: Statement by PDAA and PDC Boards of Directors

October 31, 2019

As Board members of the Public Diplomacy Council and the Public Diplomacy Association of America, non-partisan organizations of professionals committed to U.S. global leadership, we support all public servants who work every day to advance our national interests. We call on Americans to reject efforts to demean the integrity, lives, and careers of our professionals and join together behind the democratic values that have earned our country admiration around the world.

Throughout our careers, we have seen first-hand the advances and partnerships that generations of dedicated public servants have won for our country. Like the military, State Department career professionals leave our politics at home. As public diplomacy professionals, we have dedicated our careers and our honor to explaining, advocating and advancing U.S. foreign policy and strengthening international dialogue for understanding.

The people representing U.S. interests and telling America’s story to the world are truthful and patriotic advocates for the policies set forth by our elected leaders, consistent with our democratic values and the rule of law — and sometimes do so at great risk. When career professionals have concerns about official policy or practice, there are long-standing and legally-protected channels to express them. We support the use of those channels, as is happening now, as fully legitimate and in the best interests of our national security.

As Americans work to rebuild our national consensus, it will be important to remember that our country is always on stage, a global power whose actions and values animate discussions everywhere. With the power of our armed forces well established, we must move quickly to reiterate the connection between our foreign policy and our values – providing the world with regular, clear articulation of our vision and goals. Most important of all, we must continue to engage the American people, source of our greatest strength.

The world can be a dangerous place, yet America’s commitment to democratic principles, open dialogue, and truth wins us global respect – even from our adversaries.

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The Public Diplomacy Council is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization committed to the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Contact: publicdiplomacycouncil@gmail.com.

Public Diplomacy Association of America is a not-for-profit, voluntary association for public diplomacy professionals, with some 400 members. PDAA members have worked in or with the information, education, and cultural programs, which the U.S. Government incorporates into the conduct of its diplomacy abroad. Contact: Admin@publicdiplomacy.org.

PDAA Board of Directors 2019-20

PDAA Board of Directors, from left: Judy Baroody, Joel Fischman (Vice President), Mary Jeffers (Treasurer), Cynthia Efird (President Emerita), Greta Morris (President Emerita), Tom Miller, Janice Brambilla (President), Domenick DiPasquale, Bill Wanlund (Secretary), Michael Korff (Editor). Absent: Jarek Anders, Pat Kushlis, Joan Mower, Claude Porsella. (Photo: Alan Kotok)

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The State of State: Issues Facing the Foreign Service Today

You are invited to join the next First Monday lunch forum on December 2, The State of State: Issues Facing the Foreign Service Today, featuring Ambassador Eric Rubin, President of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA).

AFSA President Eric Rubin

The forum starts at 12:00 pm and takes place at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E Street NW, room 602. The program is free and includes lunch, but those planning to attend should register here.

The program is presented by the Public Diplomacy Association of America, the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, and the Public Diplomacy Council.

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