Mr. Matthew Armstrong is an author and advisor on public diplomacy, international information, and propaganda. He specializes in shaping operating structures, authorities, doctrine, and individual opinions to positively impact informational activities by civilian and military government agencies in support of national or organizational strategy. He is an Associate Fellow at King’s Centre for Strategic Communication at King’s College London.
From August 2013 through December 2016, he served as a Governor on the Broadcasting Board of Governors. He was nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate into this part-time role where he provided strategic guidance and oversight over the Voice of America, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and the Middle East Broadcasting Network. Collectively, and separate from the expansive Internet Freedom programs of the BBG and RFA, the networks operated in up to 61 languages in over 100 countries.
Since 2012, Mr. Armstrong has served as a Member of the Board of The Public Diplomacy Council, and since 2014 as the Board Secretary. The PDC is a nonprofit organization committed to the importance of the academic study, professional practice, and responsible advocacy of public diplomacy. He has also been a member of the National Press Club since 2009.
In 2011, Mr. Armstrong served as the Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy where he reoriented the organization to its core purpose of “advocacy and oversight over U.S. government efforts that intend to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics.”
In 2010, he founded and led the MountainRunner Institute, a 501(c)3 non-profit focused on issues related to public diplomacy. In 2004, he launched the leading blog on public diplomacy and strategic communication, www.MountainRunner.us. He is a member of DACOR, the Pen & Sword Club, and sits on several editorial boards related to strategic communication and on several “small councils” advising various agencies and ministries on issues related to strategic communication.
In March 2017, he testified before a subcommittee of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee on the subject of information warfare and countering proapganda, and in October 2015 on a similar topic of emerging threats. In June 2016, he participated in the National Security Seminar at the U.S. Army War College. In October 2016, he was made an Honorary Member of the Psychological Operations Regiment at Fort Bragg.
He taught graduate courses on public diplomacy at the USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, and continues to lecture and speak at U.S. military schools, NATO, and other military and civilian foreign government institutions across Europe and in Asia on strategic communication and public diplomacy.
He is a Founding Board Member of the Lodestone Trust, a land conservation trust for the research and development of outdoor therapy for military service-related post-traumatic stress disorder patients under professional supervision.
Mr. Armstrong earned a B.A. in International Relations and a Master of Public Diplomacy from the University of Southern California. He also studied European security and the Middle East at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
On the personal side, Matt is a former multiple Ironman triathlete with dozens of marathons, several ultra-marathons (including the 69-mile Hadrian’s Wall run in 2016), and many ocean swim races (including a relay swim across the English Channel in 2015). He held coaching certifications from USA Triathlon, USA Cycling (Level II), USA Track and Field, and was a certified Masters swim coach. He currently resides near Zürich, Switzerland, with his wife, two children, and dog (a rescue from a Romanian shelter).
“MountainRunner” was and remains the nickname of his favorite, best, and now late (2002-2016), running partner: Luna.