Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field
Wednesday, December 11th 2013
I am increasingly persuaded that the effectiveness of U.S. official Public Diplomacy depends not just on messages, programs, or technology, but also on the strength and health of the Foreign Service. This article is more about the Foreign Service than about Public Diplomacy per se, but these factors need to be part of the whole picture.
In one of her President's columns last year, Susan Johnson of the American Foreign Service Association wrote about "Marine Corps Culture and Institutional Success." Let me pick up on the general theme. After a career in Public Diplomacy, the State Department detailed me to be the Foreign Policy Advisor (POLAD) to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James Conway, from 2006 to 2008. It gave me a chance to see the Marines "up close and personal." The Foreign Service is not the Marine Corps, for sure, but there are lessons we can learn from the Corps.
Tuesday, December 10th 2013
Even in the middle of a busy week, the story stood out: 49 Russian diplomats posted in the United States were charged with participating in an organized scheme to defraud Medicaid out of $1.5 million in illegal benefits.
It wasn’t a one-time theft. According to the criminal complaint, the diplomats had been stealing money from America’s federal health benefits program for the needy for the past nine years.
President Vladimir Putin’s government must have been shaken by the news, and at least initially worried about how it would affect their interests. But that worry couldn’t have lasted long. When reporters asked the U.S. State Department spokesman about the impact of the scandal, she replied, “We don’t think this should affect our bilateral relationship with Russia. Quite frankly, there are too many important issues we have to work on together.”
Well, hold on just a second.
Friday, December 6th 2013
Council Member and Adjunct Professor Bruce Gregory found our December 2 First Monday Forum on Baltic States Public Diplomacy worthy of a review. We're carrying his note as a guest blog post.
Friday, November 29th 2013
The Forum's first panel addressed Public Diplomacy past; the third panel discussed Public Diplomacy's future. This panel focused on Public Diplomacy present -- looking at the field since the shock of 9/11.
Thursday, November 21st 2013
Council Vice-President Robert Albro is flagging a Nov. 25 symposium on Latin America’s cultural industries as something of interest to members. The conference “explores options for government and multilateral promotion of the cultural sector, and … one dimension of this includes soft power considerations of the relationship between promotion of national creative economies and public diplomacy.”
The organizers are American University's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies and the Inter-American Development Bank and Cultural Center. The event convenes experts from Latin America and the US on the relationship of culture to the economy.