Summary: A career public diplomacy officer, Brian Carlson advises the InterMedia research organization on military and foreign affairs issues and manages communication strategies for private clients.
Ambassador Brian E. Carlson, a former Career Minister in the United States Foreign Service, currently assists international media and audience analysis firm InterMedia on defense and diplomatic sector activities.
Ambassador Carlson was the State Department’s chief liaison with the Department of Defense on strategic communication and public diplomacy from 2006 to 2011. Under the direction of three Under Secretaries of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs – Karen Hughes, James K. Glassman and Judith McHale – he engineered closer cooperation between diplomats and military officers. He was awarded the Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award for his work by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in May, 2010.
Carlson served 36 years in the Foreign Service, including as the Ambassador to the Republic of Latvia 2001-2005. Other postings abroad took him to Spain, England, Norway, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Venezuela. He was the youngest Country Public Affairs Offers in the Foreign Service when posted to Sofia in 1978 and, among other things in his career, advanced nine visits abroad by U.S. Presidents.
Since returning to Washington in 2005, Ambassador Carlson has led inspection teams for the Inspector General in the Middle East and Washington. He was one of the authors of the 2008 Defense Science Board study on public diplomacy and strategic communication, as well as of a 2014 study for the U.S. Department of State on how to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of diplomacy itself. He contributed a chapter on information operations and public diplomacy to the 2014 Georgetown University Press book, “Mission Creep: The Militarization of U.S. Foreign Policy.”
Ambassador Carlson serves as a board member of the Public Diplomacy Council and the U.S. Baltic Foundation. He is a member of the Senior IO Advisory Council of the Association of Crows.
Ambassador Carlson lectures on strategic communication and public diplomacy at the National Defense University, the Air and Army War Colleges, and the National Foreign Affairs Training Center as well as speaking before public policy organizations and civic groups around the country.