• Public Diplomacy,  State Department

    R we to have a new “acting” Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy (and Public Affairs)?

    There’s word there will be a new “acting” Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy (and Public Affairs) as early as next week.  The current “acting” for R, as it is known at Foggy Bottom, is Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock.  I have not heard a single negative comment on Ann’s leadership while the “acting” U/S, except for early concerns she’d pay less attention to ECA.  However, I’ve also heard no complaints about the “acting” leader of ECA in Ann’s “absence,” Principle Deputy Assistant Secretary Adam Ereli. So what is the reason for replacing Ann?

  • BBG

    Serving until Replaced: the recurring story of the Broadcasting Board of Governors

    The Broadcasting Board of Governors is presently working toward updating its organization and strategy to meet America’s 21st Century needs.  Whether you agree with the suggestions or not, most of the proposed changes remain just that: proposed as they await approval for many of the key changes.  The BBG provided a “narrative” but you will have to wait until next month, I’m told, for the detailed plan. Back in September 2010, I wrote about the “honeymoon” the then-new Board would enjoy.  Indeed, after two years without a chairman and with only four members, serving appointments that expired six years earlier, the neglected BBG was due and eager for fresh leadership. For background,…

  • BBG,  Government Broadcasting

    All Quiet on the Western Front: a look at the Five-Year Strategic Plan for U.S. International Broadcasting

    Content is king, and credibility will continue to be the North Star of U.S. international broadcasting program producers and reporters in every region of the world and in the United States. As the strategic plan shows, the Board can supply an overarching policy framework. But accurate, objective journalism produced at the broadcaster level is what matters most and empowers listeners in a wide range of settings, from refugee camps in Africa, Tibetan monasteries in India, to large communities of social media consumers in the cities of China, Russia, the Arab world, Iran, North Korea, and in an awakening Burma. Although choices will be painful for all the broadcasters of the…

  • BBG,  Government Broadcasting

    The Future of U.S. International Broadcasting: A Call for Debate on its Mission and Funding

    By Alex Belida With the 70th anniversary of the Voice of America approaching (Feb. 1st), it is an ideal time to assess the future prospects for U.S. International Broadcasting (USIB). USIB has, over the past 70 years, grown into a multi-headed conglomerate.  Besides VOA, it now includes Radio Free Europe (founded 1950), Radio Liberty (founded 1953 and merged with RFE in 1976), Radio Marti (founded 1983) and TV Marti (founded 1990), Radio Free Asia (founded 1996) and the Middle East Broadcasting Network comprised of Radio Sawa (founded 2002) and Al-Hurra TV (founded 2004). The current Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), headed by Walter Isaacson, this month approved resolutions (see record…

  • Public Diplomacy

    State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board

    Josh Rogin and others reported last month on the Secretary Clinton’s new Foreign Affairs Policy Board.  Organized as a Federal Advisory Committee, it is reasonable to expect that all of the meetings will be closed door, which is unfortunate.  Derided as the “newest effort” to make State more like the Pentagon, it actually draws on a reasonable practice of seeking outside expertise.  For example, take a look at the seven advisory committees the Department put together in 1951 on the advice of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Information (now known as the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy).

  • Public Diplomacy

    Academia and Public Diplomacy: a new relationship

    There was something new at the 2011 International Studies Association conference in Montreal, Canada: a working group on public diplomacy. Organized by Craig Hayden, assistant professor at American University, and co-chaired by Kathy Fitzpatrick, professor at Quinnipiac University, it was a unique discussion to create a community of scholars across the many disciplines that comprise “public diplomacy.” Keynotes were given by Matt Armstrong and Maureen Cormack, Executive Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Congratulations to Craig for a terrific, productive and long overdue working group. I’ll leave it to the participants to highlight the discussions of the day. Hopefully we will see…

  • Guest Posts,  Public Diplomacy

    China: Rebranding 101

    By Roseline Twagiramariya Even if you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you have heard about China’s impressive economic growth and its continuing rise as an important global player. A few weeks ago, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released an informative report on the disparities between Chinese and American public diplomacy activities today. Most importantly, the report, commissioned by Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), the Ranking Member of the Committee, gave a clear and concise look at China’s current rebranding strategies. Aware of its current spotlight and of its negative perceptions abroad, China has heavily invested in their soft power in hopes to ameliorate their image and be seen as…

  • Guest Posts,  Public Diplomacy

    Diplomacy in Public Services

    By Aparajitha Vadlamannati I remember coming back to the States a few years ago after a long summer spent with family and friends in India. I felt homesick, tired from the 16 hour flight, and did not want to start school in two weeks but then I was pulled out of my funk when a customs official smiled and said ‘welcome home.’ It was such a simple act but it changed my mood and made me feel as though maybe all those customs officials, even the ones with sour faces, are not so bad after all. Little did I know, I doubt the official recognized this either, that this act…