map of the middle east

Faint Glimmers of Hope in a Devastated Middle East?

In an essay entitled “The Middle East: Regional Disorder,” Columbia University Professor Lawrence G. Potter warns of the impact on global security of catastrophic developments in that troubled region. It’s a prime reason for U.S. and international public diplomacy, in all its forms. Writing in the 2019 edition of the Foreign Policy Association’s annual Great…

Sister Cities International: Promoting Peace and Cooperation

“One Individual, One Community at a Time” Imagine an American non-profit, non-partisan organization that reaches out to improve lives in cities, towns and villages around the globe. President Dwight Eisenhower first had that dream in 1956. It has now enhanced mutual respect and understanding through worldwide exchanges for more than seven decades. Roger-Mark De Souza,…

Public Diplomacy: Truth-Power in a Digital Age

It was October 15. 2015. The Broadcasting Board of Governors, recently renamed the U.S. Agency for Global Media, heard some sound advice about the power of the five taxpayer-funded multimedia networks it leads. “To state the obvious,” guest speaker Adam Clayton Powell III told the Board, “not everything is true, some things are provably false.…

Powell, Singer, Brooking address an audience

How classic propaganda tactics weaponize social media

If you participate in social media, you are being spun.  And that’s a problem for government communicators, especially in public diplomacy. LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media, published just two months ago, has been termed by Amazon Press as “the best book of 2018”.  The book’s co-authors, noted scholars of 21st century new media Peter W.…

Don Bishop speaks from a podium

Public Diplomacy: Old organization, New Trends, and Ways Forward

Remarks of Donald M. Bishop Public Diplomacy Council First Monday Forum “The History and Future of Public Diplomacy” November 6, 2018 My colleagues on the panel will, I am confident, touch on the large issues that engage Public Diplomacy in the Foreign Service, serving America’s goals in the world – issues like democracy, exchanges, culture…

Cynthia and Panel

Public Diplomacy: Hopes and Fears at a Landmark Anniversary

Thirty years ago, a group of retired and active foreign service officers founded the Public Diplomacy Foundation. Their successors held a round-table November 5 at George Washington University (GWU), a close-up assessment of the state of this fine art of people-to- people dialogues today. The event was co-sponsored by the Public Diplomacy Council, successor to…

Single orange grows on an apple tree

Apples and Oranges Don’t Grow on the Same Tree

The announcement that the State Department may merge the Bureau of Public Affairs and the calls to mind George Santayana’s warning that “those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Let’s master the information needs of the twenty-first century without forgetting the lessons of the twentieth. Efforts to co-mingle foreign and…