portrait of Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the war of ideas

Ayaan Hirsi Ali published a long essay, “A Problem From Heaven: Why the United States Should Back Islam’s Reformation,” in a 2015 issue of Foreign Affairs.  Her article opened a window on the dilemmas faced by Public Diplomacy policymakers after 9/11 and the judgment calls by two Under Secretaries for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs,…

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,…

Map of United States showing route from Seattle to Miami

Can you speak to my class?

Public Diplomacy officers in the Foreign Service meet many educators – from Ministers of Education and Presidents or Vice-Chancellors of major universities, down to deans, principals, professors teaching courses relating to the U.S., and English teachers.  During my career, I had countless telephone calls like this one: Educator:  “Mr. Bishop, it was wonderful meeting you…

Students pose at USA Pavilion

How I Came to Love the Shanghai Expo

This article, first published in 2012, notes that “Although the United States has its own glorious history of hosting world’s fairs…we have had a spotty participation record in recent decades”.  The author, Beatrice Camp, served as Consul General during the Shanghai Expo 2010 and later as Washington coordinator for the Milan Expo in 2015.  After…

First Monday Forum participants

Belonging

Renewing my membership in the Public Diplomacy Council just got easier. Responding to our President’s reminder message last Sunday, I followed his link to our Membership page, clicked on its “Add to Cart” button, and paid my 2019 annual dues with my Amex card in about 90 seconds.  (Just got the receipt via email.) Council…

head shot of Barry Zorthian

Lessons of Counterinsurgency: A Word from Barry Zorthian

During the Vietnam War, Barry Zorthian (1920-2010) was the Director of the U.S. Information Service in Saigon, and he was the prime mover in establishing the Joint United States Public Affairs Office (JUSPAO).  JUSPAO brought together the media operations of the State Department, the U.S. Information Service, USAID, the CIA, and the Military Assistance Command,…