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Advancing America's Dialogue With The World

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      As a former public diplomacy officer, I approach the concept of place branding skeptically.  Trying to brand the United States is futile — especially in our political environment. Yet a recent article in Public Diplomacy magazine opened new perspectives on the topic. Darius Udrys, Ph.D., was the founding director of Go Vilnius – an agency…

    The post Vilnius – Case Study in Place Branding appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    The Trump administration’s immigration crackdown directly damages US cultural diplomacy, and undermines the flow of transnational cultural content in ways at once parochial and potentially damaging to the US as a source of global inspiration over the long term. This is how once influential US soft power can become irrelevant. The Trump administration’s anti-immigration crackdown,…

    The post Global Dialogues and Nativist Travel Bans appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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  • 11/01/17--05:43: Five days with Michael Novak
  • By Donald M. Bishop – The death, earlier this year, of Michael Novak — philosopher, journalist, and diplomat committed to Public Diplomacy and international broadcasting – reminded me of an extraordinary five days I spent with him in Bangladesh in 1995.  Here are some memories of his visit — and insights for Public Diplomacy. In…

    The post Five days with Michael Novak appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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      On June 16, 2016 in Pudong, Shanghai, the Walt Disney Company opened its largest theme park ever. In his dedication speech, CEO Bob Iger described the $5.5 billion, 943-acre Shanghai Disneyland Park and Resort as a “happy place . . . created for everyone,” a world “of fantasy, romance and adventure,” a land of…

    The post The Not-So-Magic Kingdom: Disney is hardly alone in groveling before the gates of the Middle Kingdom appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    It is easy to be beguiled by the press of current events and neglect the important aspects of public affairs, building relationships that last.  As I evolved in my PD career, I found that I moved from an emphasis on media to one of relationships built with exchanges and cultural events. I came to understand…

    The post Celebrating 60 Years of the Fulbright at the Brazilian Embassy appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    Irwin Steven Goldstein told the Foreign Relations Committee, “If confirmed, I look forward to working with the Department’s very talented career officials to ensure that we are speaking with one clear, consistent, and compelling voice.” The veteran public relations executive’s official statement is attached to this blog post.  He appeared before the Foreign Relations Committee…

    The post Public Diplomacy Candidate at Foreign Relations Committee appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    The Council hosted a delegation of public communications executives from Dubai Monday morning as part of their International Media Diplomacy Program in Washington.  The Protocol School of Washington and the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) co-sponsored the event. Several Council members and Shawn Powers, staff director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy,…

    The post Council Hosts Media Professionals from Dubai appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    In recent years, over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change, and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. A sense of that mass migration is depicted in Human Flow, a film epic created by the internationally renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei…

    The post Human Flow: New Film on Migration’s Impact appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    Every so often, a topic for commentary comes along that focuses the writer more intently than the average.  Of course, if there is a personal backstory or connection with the topic, that surely helps. Today that topic has found its writer — or vice versa.  You see, the topic before me today is the state…

    The post The State of the State Department is Concerning But Not Dire appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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  • 12/04/17--05:49: Venus Meets Mars
  • This week’s Lunch and Learn session for public diplomacy staffers presented a panel of public affairs experts from the world of politics and corporate crisis communications. Public diplomacy and public relations are cousins, but with clear differences — nowhere more pronounced than in the area of crisis and political communication.  This sparked a fascinating compare-and-contrast…

    The post Venus Meets Mars appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    Imagine spending 12 percent of the entire U.S. budget to help displaced and mostly impoverished Middle East, African and Afghan refugees to rebuild their lives?  The Marshall Plan of 1947 did just that for war-torn postwar Europe.  It was an indispensable helping hand for an entire generation recovering from devastation and dislocation after World War II. The…

    The post The Marshall Plan at 70: Lessons for Today appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    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…

    The post A New Challenge for Public Diplomacy appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    How is informational power that states employ in today’s turbulent world making an impression on increasing billions of people in this multimedia age? DEFINITIONS OF POWER AND HOW IT IS USED Hard power, or sheer military might:  applied internationally in times of crisis. Soft power, or public diplomacy: designed to persuade and listen to those…

    The post Straight Facts – Impact in a World of Many Voices appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    “The last three feet,” according to the late famed journalist and USIA Director Edward R. Murrow, is a classic catchword in public diplomacy statecraft. A common misperception is that U.S.-funded international broadcasters transmit signals from thousands of miles away and are largely removed from their listeners, viewers and online users. Virtually unknown: the extraordinary reach…

    The post U.S. Broadcasters Train Journalists Worldwide appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    As a consequence of President Eisenhower’s historic 1953 UN General Assembly speech, “Atomic Power for Peace’” the world-wide promotion of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy became the young U.S. Information Agency’s first major mission. I had been managing a U.S. Mission-sponsored Atoms-for-Peace exhibition at the Berlin Industrial Fair. It included a huge replica of…

    The post USIA Promoting Peaceful Nuclear Energy appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    “A lie can travel halfway around the world,” Mark Twain once wrote, “while the truth is putting its shoes on.”   In this new media age, one wonders what the famed author might have thought about the truth’s instantaneous global, multimedia reach during the recent ten-day eruption of anti-government protests in Iran.   The latest…

    The post How U.S. Gave Voice to Iranian Protests appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    A few years ago, Walter Russell Mead, professor of foreign affairs and humanities at Bard College and editor at large of the American Interest, proposed a “strategy to counter democracy’s global retreat.”  “Produce inexpensive, good translations of Burke, Locke and other thinkers, and spread the texts widely,” he urged.  His call to action should be…

    The post Translations in Public Diplomacy (I): Walter Russell Mead’s Call to Action appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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  • 02/23/18--20:13: Deep Dive on North Korea
  •   This link includes a 40-page guide – quotes and links to articles, essays, opinion pieces, and reports — on North Korea’s information environment.  Intended for strategic communication and Public Diplomacy practitioners, it focuses on information, broadcasting, cyber, internet access, propaganda, the activities of defectors, policy debates, and related topics. This is a special number in…

    The post Deep Dive on North Korea appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    In a previous post I drew a happy picture of translated books and magazines in Public Diplomacy.  USIA and then the Bureau of International Information Programs translated many books into foreign languages, complemented by an active magazine diplomacy.  Now, the translation project is a shadow of its former self.  What happened?   Magazines   America…

    The post Translations in Public Diplomacy (II): Dwindled appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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    In a recent essay, a leading Taiwan academic saluted the work of the U.S. Information Service in Taiwan some decades ago. Recalling the American Literature Translation Series, sponsored by USIS, that made available American novels and stories in Chinese, the Director of the Institute of European and American Studies at the Academia Sinica, Shan Te-hsing,…

    The post Translations in Public Diplomacy (III): A Taiwan Footnote appeared first on The Public Diplomacy Council.


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