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…

Seeds of Democracy in a Tumultuous World

Can the North African country of Libya offer hope for reforms elsewhere? On March 16, a new national unity civilian government took power in Tripoli.  In the words of a recent Washington Post editorial: “After a decade of chaos, the oil rich nation has taken a significant step toward a new political order.” Libya’s recent…

Secretary Blinken standing with President Biden inside State Department offices

Five PD Favorites by Mike Anderson

1. “POTUS” VISITS FOGGY BOTTOM: A visit to the State Department by the President of the United States (POTUS) is always a major event. (President Trump only visited the building once in four years — for Secretary Pompeo’s 2018 swearing-in ceremony — and once famously joked that Pompeo was head of the “Deep State Department”.) So…

Thanksgiving’s Legacy: Rays of Hope

The ingenuity of hopeful humanity, from a 27-year-old environmental activist in India to President-elect Joseph Biden in United States.  Both have faith that a bright day for weary, afflicted humans the world over must follow a grim winter for mounting victims of the greatest pandemic tragedy (COV-19) this century. According to Washington Post reporter Taniya…

A look Ahead to 2020

Surveying the world scene as a new year and new decade dawns, many would agree, on the basis of events this past year that there aren’t many rays of hope on the horizon. 2019: —As Middle East Institute President Paul Salem describes the year past:  “In the Middle East and North Africa, there were five…

Thilivhali Ratshitanga, a political counsellor at the Embassy of South Africa in Washington D.C. listens to a panel speak about Nelson Mandela.

Celebrating the Life and Lasting Legacy of Global Citizen: Nelson Mandela

The First Monday Forum on July 2018: Nelson Mandela Centennial, featured a panel of speakers: Dr. Bob Wekesa from the department of journalism and mass studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa; Ron Nixon, the Homeland Security correspondent for The New York Times and author of, Selling Apartheid: South Africa’s Global Propaganda…