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.

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. A CHILLING WAKE-UP CALL AND THE “INFORMATION WAR”: As Americans — and people around the world — continue to struggle to understand the stomach-churning January 6, 2021 insurrection in the Capitol and the historic second impeachment of President Trump, one concern is crying out for attention: the intersection between democracy and technology. Policymakers, social media…

FBI wanted poster for Capitol rioters

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1.CHAOS IN THE CAPITOL AND DEMOCRACY: Any public diplomacy officer who has ever served in a so-called “banana republic” or Third World country — with authoritarian leadership, muzzled media, unfair elections, weak law enforcement, violence, and corruption — could not have been comfortable with the ugliness they viewed on January 6, 2021. As the rioters…

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. THE WESTERN SAHARA PUBLIC DIPLOMACY CHALLENGES: President Trump’s historic December 10, 2020 proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara has created new U.S. policy — and PD — challenges. That territory has long been controversial, and it is quite an uncharted area for traditional diplomacy. After Spain withdrew from its then-colony in 1975, Morocco…

Head of Tien Tien panda

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. “VACCINE DIPLOMACY” AND PUBLIC CONFIDENCE AND EDUCATION: As the United States – and much of the world – braces for more coronavirus infections and deaths, the pressures to approve several vaccines and start widely and fairly distributing them intensifies at home and abroad. Public affairs and public diplomacy personnel face staggering challenges on the long…

portrait with U.S. flag

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1.ROLLING OUT “AMERICA IS BACK!”: The incoming Biden Administration has named its key foreign policy officials, most of whom are well-known, reassuring names to many within the public diplomacy community. Of the six appointees in the cluster, five have had extensive experience within the State Department. In announcing the appointments on November 24, 2020, President-elect…

head shot of Mike Anderson with Indonesian temple in background

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1.THE NOT-SO-OPEN “OPEN DOORS” REPORT:The new —  and always useful — Institute of International Education (IIE) annual report on international students is out with findings that are not surprising given the pandemic. Funded by the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the latest Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange found that a “snapshot survey” last…

Two different hands with ballot over ballot box

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. THE OH-SO-POLARIZED U.S. ELECTIONS: The rather sad, nail-biting U.S. elections are finally behind us. I say “sad” because our public diplomacy officers around the world were relatively limited as to what they could say and do about the long, drawn-out process. Many opportunities to explain U.S.-style democracy and our complex voting system and changing media landscape…