The role of public diplomacy in statecraft; professional ethics; organizational principles; arguments for using public diplomacy

June: a Landmark Month for U.S. Diplomacy

by Alan Heil When I led VOA during a couple of years in the mid-1990s, we debated what might lie ahead on for the world and the U.S. as we deployed  more than a score of correspondents around a post-Cold War planet. Who then, or for more than two decades since, could have foreseen the…

man in dark on laptop

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. THE PRESIDENT’S 2022 “WISH LIST” AND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY: President Biden has submitted his FY 2022 budget to Congress, and it requests a historic, mind-numbing $6 trillion to “help us build back better, leaving us stronger at home and on the world stage.” This request includes $58.5 billion for State Department and USAID, a 10 percent…

Taiwan: An Accelerating Crisis?

by Alan Heil The tiny democratic Chinese-speaking Pacific island republic lies within sight of Communist China and is now facing twin crises: a coronavirus outbreak in addition to long-standing potential threats from the mainland superpower. Taiwan’s population is 24 million, compared to mainland China’s 1.4 billion. Michael Mandelbaum of Johns Hopkins University describes the Taiwan…

Ambassador Jean Manes official portrait

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. PUBLIC DIPLOMACY VETERAN RETURNS TO EL SALVADOR: It is always good to see when the services of an experienced PD professional are appreciated. The best recent example of this is Secretary of State Blinken’s May 26, 2021 designation of Ambassador Jean Manes as Charge’ d’ affaires ad interim to the Republic of El Salvador. She…

Gaza: What Should Happen Now?

By Alan Heil Secretary of State Antony Blinken concluded a two-day mission to the Middle East May 26, winning what the Associated Press termed “valuable diplomatic support” for a ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas leaders. This followed quickly on the heels of an 11-day war that cost the lives of nearly 250…

Gaza Aftermath: Next Steps?

by Alan Heil It’s over, the latest spasm of severe strife in the heart of the Middle East. An 11-day conflict between Israel and Gaza has ended in what appeared May 21 to be a durable ceasefire, for now at least. Once again, there was a horrific Arab-Israeli death toll in the May fighting: 232…

Xiao Qi Ji

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. THE PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE SIDE OF INDIA’S GRIM PANDEMIC NEWS: The COVID-19 statistics that continue to come out of the United States and many countries are numbing. The depressing death figures for India the other day, for example, were hard to comprehend. The country reported more than 4,500 deaths in one day — the worst single-day, COVID-19…

Gaza Crisis: No Pause In Sight

by Alan Heil An anxious world is waiting. As of dusk on the eighth day since a few Israelis evicted Palestinian residents from their homes in East Jerusalem, sustained retaliatory air attacks from Gaza and Israeli responses have set in motion the Middle East’s most serious fighting since 2014. As nightfall approached in the region…

Middle East map with toy cannon

The Middle East Cauldron Erupts Again

by Alan Heil Full-blown conflict in Israel and Gaza, triggered by Israeli seizure May 10 of several Palestinian homes and expulsion of their residents in east Jerusalem… Hundreds of civilians or soldiers killed or injured in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel itself during the initial week of this latest tragic chapter of Arab-Israeli tensions……

Samantha Power at lectern

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. USAID GAINS SAMANTHA’S POWER: USAID has some 9,000 staff members working in about 100 countries. Many of these professionals, especially including public affairs personnel, must be very happy with their new Administrator, Samantha Power, the former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, war correspondent who got her start in Bosnia, and human rights advocate. She began…