Libby Liu speaking at podium

A Struggle for Minds in Closed Societies: a Radio Free Asia Update

In a live telecast on C-Span August 5, Radio Free Asia Director Libby Liu addressed a roundtable of public diplomacy specialists and focused on RFA’s U.S. government-funded multimedia network’s broadcasts to the Peoples Republic of China. RFA broadcasts on television, radio, and a variety of online channels to six East Asian countries: Cambodia, China, Laos,…

portrait of Eugene Kopp

Eugene Kopp, a cherished leader of U.S. public diplomacy

Eugene Kopp, who served twice as Deputy Director of USIA (1973-1977 and 1989-1992) and as Acting Director in 1976 -1977, died on Monday, May 13, 2019, of cardiac arrest. Mr. Kopp, a political appointee of Republican Presidents, engendered an unusual degree of respect and affection from a generation of government employees working in public diplomacy. …

A New Path Ahead For U.S. Public Diplomacy Advocates In A Digital Age?

What is public diplomacy? It’s a term used more widely than ever in the 21st century, as a leading scholar of the concept, the University of Southern California’s Professor Nicholas J. Cull explains: “Public diplomacy deals with the influence of public attitudes on the formation and execution of a nation’s foreign policies.” Dr. Cull adds…

Evolution of Public Diplomacy One Mutation at a Time

Last week offered two glimpses of U.S. public diplomacy’s gradual evolution. The State Department received confirmation that a merger between two of its three public diplomacy bureaus will move ahead.  International Information Programs and the Public Affairs bureau will become the Bureau of Global Public Affairs. A less visible but deeper change went public Thursday,…

Authoritarian Media: Supercharged in a Digital Age

In this era of expanding use of new communications tools, accuracy in media matters as never before. Globally, truth and fairness in journalism is endangered in unprecedented ways. Two specialists from the National Endowment for Democracy recently explained to a First Monday of the Month forum of the PDC and PDAA how China, Russia and…

HMS Argyll off the coast of Sierra Leone

A Case Study of Information Operations and Public Diplomacy: Sierra Leone 2000

In a crisis where military forces are deployed, information operations and public diplomacy specialists must be integrated into planning and operations from the first day. This was the conclusion of a case study of mass atrocity prevention and response – OPERATION PALLISER, the British intervention in the Sierra Leone civil war in 2000 – by…

The Hard Case for Soft Power: Four D.C. Roundtables Reflect Challenges and Impact

What is U.S. “soft power” in a digital world? A key facet is the ability to form international friendships, person-to-person and organization-to-organization, in the 21st century. This enhances, in a very human way, “hard power,” the ability to affect militarily the fate of societies and nations around the globe. Here in Washington, soft power advocates…