National Geographic and "Brand America"

Gary Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society, shows the dozens of different front-page covers of this month's National Geographic magazine, tailored to audiences around the globe.  The media company embraces freedom of thought and expression, a core American value, he asserted at First Monday Forum.

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Photo Credit - Alma Burke Submit an image/video

PD commentary

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

PDC Publication: Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future

The Public Diplomacy Council's has released its newest publication, Nontraditional U.S. Public Diplomacy: Past, Present, and Future.

Making a Difference

Sunday, December 18th 2016

Making a Difference

Donald M. Bishop


A few years ago the Washington Post ran an article describing the difficulty that "young altruists" in their late 20's encounter as they try to leverage their desire to make the world a better place into careers.  Despite advanced degrees, languages, internships, short-term work with NGOs, and Peace Corps service, finding work with good pay and benefits is elusive, the article reported.

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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. authors name for more info

Author: Donald M. Bishop

Fact-check: BBG can now broadcast to Americans?

Saturday, December 17th 2016

The change to the governance structure of the Broadcasting Board of Governors through an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act has raised some concerns that the BBG might turn inward to target American audiences through domestic broadcasting. An article at Politico stated that because of the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2013, "the BBG can now broadcast in the U.S., too.” Fox’s Howard Kurtz was more accurate in writing that the three year-old amendment means that the "BBG's content can also be broadcast in the United States.” The first is inaccurate the second is slightly misleading. Here is why. 

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Matthew Armstrong

Board Member, Secretary

Mr. Matthew Armstrong is an author and advisor on public diplomacy, international information, and propaganda. His emphasis is examining how operating structures, authorities, doctrine, and individual opinions impact informational activities in support of national or organizational strategy. His focus is on the traditional and emerging security issues facing civilian and military government agencies, the Congress, news organizations, think tanks, and academia across several continents. authors name for more info

Author: Matt Armstrong

Remembering Herb Romerstein

Wednesday, December 7th 2016

Guest Post by Todd Leventhal

Todd Leventhal worked countering Soviet, Iraqi, and other disinformation and conspiracy theories at the U.S. Information Agency from 1987 to 1996 and for the State Department from 2002 to 2010 and during 2015.  He now works at the Global Engagement Center, an interagency organization within the State Department that seeks to use messaging to decrease recruitment to ISIS and other terrorist groups.

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Please contact PDC Graduate Fellow Tara Schoenborn at to inquire about contributing to the Public Diplomacy Council website. authors name for more info

Author: Guest Contributor

Freedom of the press and a perfect storm

Friday, December 2nd 2016

Reliable public information is under threat by social trends and by people in power who are exploiting vulnerabilities in the media around the globe.  That is the gist of comments from yesterday’s panel discussion sponsored by the Center for International Media Assistance.

The panel – titled “Democracy and the Media Challenge in the 21st Century” -- painted a picture brought to mind that movie “The Perfect Storm:” a set of conditions that add up to a lethal mix.   The old paradigm of government repression is only one part of the picture, according to panelists.

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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. 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.





PDC/USC First Monday Forums

June 5, 2017: "U.S. Helsinki Commission with Scott M. Rauland"

July 10, 2017: "VOA and WWII with Holly Schulman" 

August 7, 2017:  "U.S. Public Diplomacy at the State Level, Speaker: Phil Noble"

September 11, 2017:  "9/11 Sixteen Years Later" 

October 2, 2017: "How Finland Is Using Public Diplomacy to Celebrate Its Centennial"






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