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

Folded newspaper section "China Watch"

A New Challenge for Public Diplomacy

Did public diplomacy just get a new job? Sharp power is the latest buzzword in international affairs.  Last week The Economist magazine featured a study by the National Endowment for Democracy by that name.  The new National Security Strategy dwells on how China and Russia are using traditional “soft power” instruments in new ways to advance their…

Venus Meets Mars

This week’s Lunch and Learn session for public diplomacy staffers presented a panel of public affairs experts from the world of politics and corporate crisis communications. Public diplomacy and public relations are cousins, but with clear differences — nowhere more pronounced than in the area of crisis and political communication.  This sparked a fascinating compare-and-contrast…

Council Hosts Media Professionals from Dubai

The Council hosted a delegation of public communications executives from Dubai Monday morning as part of their International Media Diplomacy Program in Washington.  The Protocol School of Washington and the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) co-sponsored the event. Several Council members and Shawn Powers, staff director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy,…

Public Diplomacy Candidate at Foreign Relations Committee

Irwin Steven Goldstein told the Foreign Relations Committee, “If confirmed, I look forward to working with the Department’s very talented career officials to ensure that we are speaking with one clear, consistent, and compelling voice.” The veteran public relations executive’s official statement is attached to this blog post.  He appeared before the Foreign Relations Committee…

U.S. Capitol building with dome

Making the Hard Case for Soft Power: an Echo

There is room for optimism that Congress will reject the Administration’s proposed deep cuts to exchanges programs and to public diplomacy in general.  However, if you want to defend these programs, now is the time to speak out. Through our member Sherry Mueller, the Public Diplomacy Council joined major PD advocacy organizations to sponsor “Making…