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U.S. public diplomacy's chief departs at key moment

Sunday, July 30th 2017

Bruce Wharton, the first Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy from the ranks of the career Foreign Service, has retired.  Wharton has provided stellar leadership and set a fine example for public diplomacy employees since his appointment last December.  No successor has been announced.

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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

Quotable: Matt Armstrong on the institutions of information, influence, and opinion

Thursday, January 19th 2017

“You can call it ‘information warfare,’ ‘hybrid warfare,’ or ‘political warfare,’ but whatever you call it, an adversary’s attempts to shape the minds and will of people toward a political end is not new to the United States. Nor will this be the first time the United States sought to wield these weapons against its foes.”

* * * * *

. . . by blocking the development and deployment of civilian and overt activities, Fulbright’s actions on the Freedom Academy and the Smith-Mundt Act have done more to militarize American foreign policy than any other single act by denying Congress, policymakers, and practitioners critical experience, methods, and historical precedent to properly defend the nation through nonmilitary means.

 

Article:         The Past, Present, and Future of the War for Public Opinion

 

Author:         Matthew Armstrong

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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

The Power of Technology: Batteries Not Included

Monday, July 21st 2014

By Katie Leasor, Program Designer, U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, The Collaboratory

I was sitting in a meeting with a local D.C. charter school at the State Department when my colleague came up with a brilliant idea on how we could collaborate with them on virtual exchange programs. I began writing it down in my notebook when the black ink slowly turned grey, and eventually wouldn’t write at all.

Despite anxiously drawing circles to try and revive it, my pen died.

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One person has commented on this article so far

Please contact PDC Graduate Fellow Tara Schoenborn at taraschoenborn@gmail.com to inquire about contributing to the Public Diplomacy Council website. 

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Author: Guest Contributor

Will Someone Stand Up?

Monday, May 12th 2014

Because this is the Public Diplomacy Council, and because we believe public diplomacy works, we should  speak up when there is a danger of damage to America’s public diplomacy.

Speaking up is even more appropriate when American diplomacy in general seems to be most in need of all its strengths and tools.  I mean, would you cut off the water while the firefighters are dealing with a burning building? Would you take arms away from soldiers in the midst of a battle? 

But that’s what someone seems to be doing to the diplomats at the State Department.  Just at the moment when America is bringing the troops home, when Vladimir Putin is challenging us as no one has since 1939, and when the United States needs friends and partners more than ever before, the State Department  proposes a 30.5 million dollar cut in the Fulbright Program, America’s flagship international educational exchange program.

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6 people have commented on this article so far

Board member 

Summary: A career public diplomacy officer, Brian Carlson advises the InterMedia research organization on military and foreign affairs issues and manages communication strategies for private clients. 

Career 

Ambassador Brian E. Carlson, a former Career Minister in the United States Foreign Service, currently assists international media and audience analysis firm InterMedia on defense and diplomatic sector activities. 

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Author: Brian Carlson

The Ten Best of Public Diplomacy in 2013

Tuesday, December 31st 2013

At the end of the year, we tend to look back and think of what was memorable or noteworthy about the 12 months past.  There’s a cliché about lists – especially lists of the best – of whatever. 

Not to be outdone, we thought it a good idea to try to assemble a list of the best public diplomacy actions, ideas, programs or decisions of 2013.  On short notice we invited ideas from current FSO’s and retirees, academics, business people, political appointees, journalists, pundits, and other observers.  We got a surprising number of suggestions, and we had to pick among them with an admittedly parochial, personal and indefensible selection process.

You may not agree with our selection below, or you may have another example of public diplomacy not listed here that you want to put forward. Well, that’s what the comments feature is for! 

Read on to see the list...

 

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2 people have commented on this article so far

Board member 

Summary: A career public diplomacy officer, Brian Carlson advises the InterMedia research organization on military and foreign affairs issues and manages communication strategies for private clients. 

Career 

Ambassador Brian E. Carlson, a former Career Minister in the United States Foreign Service, currently assists international media and audience analysis firm InterMedia on defense and diplomatic sector activities. 

...click authors name for more info

Author: Brian Carlson

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