U.S. Public Diplomacy losing to Public Affairs?

That will be the question tomorrow when the senior public diplomacy official, Michelle Giuda, appears before the Advisory Commission for Public Diplomacy to discuss the ongoing merger of two bureaus under her aegis. The Council is co-hosting this event with the Advisory Commission at at George Washington University Elliott School’s Lindner Family Commons, 1957 E…

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,…

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…

Soft Power and Hard Targets

Occasionally I co-lead a strategy workshop for State Department practitioners of public diplomacy.  Each participant brings a topic and develops it into a public diplomacy campaign over five days; it’s learning by doing. The hardest thing for our students – both Foreign Service Officers and locally-hired staffers – is to define a clear objective and…

Folded newspaper section "China Watch"

A New Challenge for Public Diplomacy

Did public diplomacy just get a new job? Sharp power is the latest buzzword in international affairs.  Last week The Economist magazine featured a study by the National Endowment for Democracy by that name.  The new National Security Strategy dwells on how China and Russia are using traditional “soft power” instruments in new ways to advance their…