The members of the Public Diplomacy Council

A Free Press Matters: a Worldwide Roundup

In a World Press Freedom Day message yesterday May 3, President Biden warned that “the truth is under attack” and that “authoritarians” are trying to undermine the media globally. In a statement on the White House website, the president praised objective journalists around the world and urged them “to continue holding those in power to…

Aircraft with USAID relief packages andU.S. officials in foreground

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. THE STRUGGLE TO REFORM PUBLIC DIPLOMACY STAFFING: As any PD officer knows, the effort to inform and influence foreign publics relies heavily on support from approximately 2,600 loyal PD Locally Employed Staff (LES) who do PD work in 189 U.S. missions around the world. Any attempt to reform their functions, structures, and position descriptions is…

Climate Envoy John Kerry with Secretary of State Biden at table

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. UNITED STATES PULLS OFF “LEADERS SUMMIT ON CLIMATE”:  This year’s “Earth Day” was different. It really was “Earth Days” — plural.  April 22-23, 2021 were rather remarkable days for the Biden Administration and U.S. public diplomacy. Timed for the annual “Earth Day” observance, the White House and State Department quite smoothly managed a two-day Leaders…

title Global Trends 2040

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. “GLOBAL TRENDS 2040” — TOWARDS A SCARY FUTURE? Intelligence reports — the rare ones that are unclassified and officially made public — aren’t always very helpful in explaining an issue or concern. They usually are cryptic and sanitized, and not very readable. But let me highly recommend one released April 8, 2021 by the National Intelligence…

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…