What tomorrow's diplomats are learning today

At First Monday Forum on April 3 the deans of international affairs schools at American University, Georgetown University and the George Washington University reviewed trends in instruction and course content.  In the picture, PD Council Member Sherry Mueller introduces (l-r) James Goldgeier of AU, Joel Hellman of Georgetown, and Reuben Brigety II of GW.

 

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Photo Credit - Joe B Johnson Submit an image/video

PD commentary

Selection and commentary by PDC members and authoritative experts in the field

Public Diplomacy’s 100 Days

Thursday, April 27th 2017

Donald J. Trump employs public diplomacy as much as any President we’ve seen.  Yet his public diplomacy staff has not faced so much uncertainty in decades.

The State Department, supposed leader for the United States outreach to the rest of the world, named a new press spokesperson this week: one of the first political appointees to join Secretary Rex Tillerson.   Secretary Tillerson has placed a highly respected ambassador in charge of the PD apparatus for the time being.  However, broader guidelines going beyond the press briefings are skimpy.

Except for one bold marker.  A budget is the clearest statement of priorities.  On that basis, the White House has expressed little need of public diplomacy.  Its initial budget request called for the elimination of all educational and cultural exchange programs except for the Fulbright exchange of scholars, on top of a 30 percent across-the-board cut in Department resources.

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Joe B. Johnson

Board member

 

Joe B. Johnson consults on government communication and technology after a career in the United States Foreign Service.  He is an instructor for the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, where he teaches strategic planning for public diplomacy.

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Author: Joe Johnson

THE POWER OF TRUTH IN U.S. INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING

Friday, April 21st 2017

Does U.S. government-funded broadcasting enhance national security by reporting facts to a curious world in a digital age? Billions of multimedia consumers around the planet would readily agree that unbiased information about America and the world is more crucial than ever before.

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Alan L. Heil Jr.

Board member

Summary: As a 36-year veteran of the Voice of America (VOA), Alan Heil traveled to more than 40 countries a foreign correspondent in the Middle East, and later as director of News and Current Affairs, deputy director of programs, and deputy director of the nation’s largest publicly-funded overseas multimedia network. Today, VOA reaches more than 125 million people in 44 languages.

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Author: Alan Heil

Classic Quotable: U.S. Broadcasting during the 1956 Uprising in Hungary (1972)

Monday, April 10th 2017

The Suez crisis, unrest in Poland, and the Hungarian uprising “dominated the international news” in 1956.  This review of U.S. broadcasting at the time noted “in terms of international communications, the most important was the Hungarian uprising.”  The authors counseled that “If policy is unclear, the audience may misperceive it even when operators do not.  Reactions may be harmful to the interests of both the communicator and the receivers.”

 

Article:                  Foreign Policy and Communications During the Hungarian Uprising

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors.

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Author: Donald M. Bishop

Classic Quotable: Edward G. Lansdale on how Americans are seen “Through Foreign Eyes” (1963)

Saturday, April 8th 2017

Major General Edward G. Lansdale (1908-1987) – an Air Force intelligence officer whose career included service in the Philippines during the Huk Rebellion and in Vietnam during that war – was a major thinker and practitioner in counterinsurgency.  He emphasized “hearts and minds,” psychological operations, and civic actions.  When William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick wrote their influential novel, The Ugly American, “Colonel Hillendale” was modeled on Lansdale.

 

A memorandum that Lansdale penned in 1963 is frequently cited by scholars, but it has not been available on the web.  Lansdale wrote the memorandum for military advisors in Vietnam, but its profile of the images, traits, and behaviors of Americans – touching on professional competence, language skills, accessibility, empathy, directness, enthusiasm, adaptability, patience, humor, temper, and politics -- is evergreen.  So is his counsel to “know the country” and “be a good guest.”

 

Title:              MEMORANDUM, From Maj. Gen. Lansdale, Subject: Through Foreign Eyes

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Donald M. Bishop is the Bren Chair of Strategic Communications at Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia. 

Mr. Bishop served as a Foreign Service Officer – first in the U.S. Information Agency and then in the Department of State – for 31 years.  Specializing in Public Diplomacy, political-military affairs, and East Asia, he attained the rank of Minister-Counselor in the career service.  He was President of the Public Diplomacy Council from 2013 to 2015 and is now a member of the Board of Directors.

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Author: Donald M. Bishop

Guest post: John Matel on First Monday's deans panel

Thursday, April 6th 2017

John Matel, who retired one year ago from a career in public diplomacy as a Foreign Service Officer, left this impression of our most recent First Monday Forum with three deans of international relations schools discussing trends in teaching.

[Taken from Facebook, with John Matel's permission]

Keeping some contact with my earlier life in public diplomacy, I went to “First Monday” held at AFSA and sponsored by the Public Diplomacy Council. This episode featured deans of schools that teach public diplomacy: James Goldgeier of American University, Joel Hellman of Georgetown, and Reuben Brigety II of George Washington talking about what they are teaching these days.

I have long said that public diplomacy is not rocket science. Almost everything we do in public diplomacy is simple and most of it is obvious. Doing it is not so easy. A comparison might be my cooking skills versus those of Gordon Ramsey. We can both use the same recipe, but I suspect his results might be better.

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Joe B. Johnson

Board member

 

Joe B. Johnson consults on government communication and technology after a career in the United States Foreign Service.  He is an instructor for the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, where he teaches strategic planning for public diplomacy.

...click authors name for more info

Author: Joe Johnson

The Public Diplomacy Council is a nonprofit organization committed to the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. Founded in 1988, the Council serves the community of public diplomacy professionals, professors and students interested in public diplomacy.

 

 

Upcoming

 

PDC/USC First Monday Forums

May 1, 2017 - Gary Knell, President and CEO, National Geographic Society

PDC Mentorship Lunch and Learn

May 17, 2017, 12:00 - 1:30 pm, at the American Foreign Service Association- "Get to where you want to go: Successful Lobbying & Bidding"

 

 

 

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