Too frequently people mistake public diplomacy for one or another of its tangible products, such as television production, cultural presentations, academic exchanges, public speaking or press and publications work. That’s like mistaking the aspirin pills for the practice of medicine.
The Council supports professional standards for the practice of public diplomacy by those who choose and employ the tools and tactics: diplomats and locally engaged employees. Here are some of our activities.
The Kathryn W. Davis Fellowship: Our collaboration with the American Council of Ambassadors enriches their program for the Kathryn W. Davis Fellows, chosen from the corps of U.S. Foreign Service Officers. Each Fellow holds a series of meetings with Council members, who share their experience in public diplomacy and career management.
Forums for U.S. Public Diplomacy Officers: Many Foreign Service Officers have joined the Council as associate members. Under Council sponsorship, they organize and attend roundtable discussions where they learn from each other and exchange views and advice about career prospects. Council members attend these sessions. To see excerpts, go to our Lunch and Learn page.
Afghan Diplomats Training Program: In 2010 the Council joined Meridian International Center to train junior diplomats from Iraq and Afghanistan. Our first program was for Iraqi foreign service officers. Since 2011, Meridian and the Council have implemented the U.S. portion of the U.S.-China Program for Junior Afghan Diplomats. During each group’s two weeks in Washington, D.C., Public Diplomacy Council members lead training sessions on public diplomacy, strategic planning, diplomatic communications and other skills.