Dr. Michael H. Anderson is a public diplomacy and Asian affairs specialist  with nearly 30 years of Foreign Service experience serving in the US Department of State and the US Information Agency (USIA) and working in South Asia and Southeast Asia.  His Public Affairs Officer (PAO) postings included New Delhi, Jakarta, Karachi, Singapore, Manila and Port Moresby. He also has been a journalist,  a teacher, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia, an information officer with UNICEF, and an East-West Center grantee.  He is a member of the PDC Board.

Africans performing traditional dance

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. COMING UP: A COSTLY U.S. DEPARTURE FROM AFGHANISTAN?: For literally decades, one of the most challenging and frustrating jobs for U.S. diplomats, as well as the military and non-governmental organizations, has been trying to deal with the Afghanistan war and the Afghan government and the Taliban. Billions have been spent on various well-intended “nation-building,” “reconstruction,” and…

Secretary Blinken at podium

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. HUMAN RIGHTS ARE BACK: Anyone doubting that U.S. policy towards human rights has changed under the Biden Administration should take a look at Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s words on March 30, 2021 when he unveiled the 45th annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. In releasing the comprehensive review of human rights in nearly 200…

Conference stage with speaker

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. GLOBAL TIES U.S. MARKS 60 YEARS OF CITIZEN DIPLOMACY: The March 22-26, 2021 National Meeting of Global Ties U.S. — the nation-wide network of partners and community supporters which makes the successful, State Department-funded International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) possible — was historic. Not only did the huge annual gathering mark the 60th anniversary of…

cherry blossoms Jefferson Memorial

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. HATE CRIMES — ANOTHER PUBLIC DIPLOMACY CHALLENGE: Our ambassadors and PD officers suddenly have a new challenge: explaining what President Biden has called a “skyrocketing spike” of harassment and violence against Asian Americans and the need for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to pass Congress. On several occasions since taking office, President Biden has clearly…

Dr. Biden at podium

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. HONORING “WOMEN OF COURAGE” AND ADVANCING A “FEMINIST FOREIGN POLICY”: For the past 15 years, the State Department has marked International Women’s Day by recognizing a group of amazing women who have shown unusual courage and leadership. This year’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) ceremony, held March 8, 2021, seemed better and more inspiring than…

Photo of Secretary Blinken and PM Trudeau on a large screen

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. VISITING THE NEIGHBORS – OFFICIALLY, BUT VIRTUALLY:  A major feature of diplomacy has been face-to-face interaction between American senior officials and their foreign counterparts.  Those days — at least for the immediate future — are over during this painful time of border crossing restrictions. As Secretary of State Blinken demonstrated on February 26, 2021, you can…

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. MATT POTTINGER, CHINA, AND “VACCINE DIPLOMACY”:  Matt who? Although he is not a household name, the low-profile Pottinger probably had more influence on the Trump Administration’s “get tough on China” policy and strategic communications than anyone else. As NSC’s Asia Director and then the Deputy National Security Advisor from the very start of the Trump…

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. A STUNNING DAY FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: Friday, February 19, 2021 was not “just another news day” for America. If you were a U.S. diplomat, especially a public diplomacy officer, it was arguably a great day. Several things happened within just a couple of hours to significantly explain and advance U.S. policy of partnership, cooperation, engagement…

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. FACTS ABOUT THE “LEAN” PUBLIC DIPLOMACY BUDGET: The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD) has released an important report that is essential reading for anyone interested in the state of public diplomacy as practiced today by the State Department and the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM). Called 2020 Comprehensive Annual Report on Public Diplomacy…

Secretary Blinken standing with President Biden inside State Department offices

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. “POTUS” VISITS FOGGY BOTTOM: A visit to the State Department by the President of the United States (POTUS) is always a major event. (President Trump only visited the building once in four years — for Secretary Pompeo’s 2018 swearing-in ceremony — and once famously joked that Pompeo was head of the “Deep State Department”.) So…