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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.

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.

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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 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.

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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: FirstMondayForum.RSVP@gmail.com.

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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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Human Rights Promotion as a U.S. Policy Priority

Robert Berschinski

Robert Berschinski at PDAA lunch program, 12 February 2018 (A. Kotok)

(14 February 2018) Editor’s note. The following essay is drawn from remarks prepared by Robert Berschinski at the PDAA lunch program on Monday, 12 February 2018. Berschinski is Senior Vice President of Human Rights First, where he oversees the organization’s work advancing a U.S. foreign policy rooted in a strong commitment to human rights, universal values, and American ideals. More details about his background and the program itself are found on the program’s web page.

Thank you Ambassador Efird and Ambassador Morris, and all the members of PDAA for having me here with you today.

Frank is a very tough act to follow, but I’ll give it a shot.

Greta, your prompt for the session included the question “Should promoting human rights and democracy be an important part of U.S. foreign policy?”

My response is that, based on American history, our self-conception as a nation, and frankly our interests within the international system, there is simply no way that this issue cannot be included as an important component of our foreign policy.

I would add that my experience as a diplomat demonstrated quite clearly that standing up for individual rights and the rule of law—and being seen as doing so—pays the United States significant dividends as a matter of U.S. national interest.

To a certain extent it sounds trite, but I think there’s no doubt that America benefits from being seen as representing a set of ideals as much as a territory, and that we do well for ourselves when we’re seen to be acting in ways that go beyond our immediate, narrowly-defined self-interest.

It’s not news that human rights and liberal democracy are under strain right now.  According to Freedom House, we’re in our 12th consecutive year of a global rollback of liberal democracy, including guarantees of free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press, and the rule of law. And that includes here at home.

Populism and ethno-nationalism seem on the march. Far-right populists gained votes and parliamentary seats in France, the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria last year.

Promising democratic success stories from Hungary to Turkey to Venezuela to the Philippines have turned or are turning in a very different direction.  And of course with the possible exception of Tunisia, the early hopes of reformers in the Arab Spring have been crushed.

Russia, meanwhile, continues to violate international norms from invading its neighbors to meddling in foreign elections, and is empowered to do so in no small part because of the systematic, often brutal elimination of political opposition, and dominance that the Kremlin holds over the Russian media landscape.

And China is quickly translating its economic power into a means to export the control it exerts over its population at home into a new set of rules abroad that are explicitly hostile to individual freedom.

Perhaps most disturbingly, there’s a definite sense that consolidated democracies clearly aren’t delivering. According to various polls, this is leading many young people in consolidated liberal democracies, including here in the United States, to question whether democracy is the optimal form of governance.

Given all this, the question remains, should the United States continue to promote human rights?

My response is an unequivocal yes.

Continue reading Human Rights Promotion as a U.S. Policy Priority

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