Sunday, February 17, 2019

Heather Nauert Withdraws From Consideration For U.N. Ambassador

Emma Bowman, NPR, February 16; on Nauert, see below

Image from entry, with caption: Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert withdrew herself from consideration for the nomination of U.S. ambassador to the U.N. on Saturday.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert withdrew herself from consideration on Saturday for the nomination of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
"I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary [of State Mike] Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations," she said, according to a statement released by the State Department. "However, the past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration."
President Trump picked the former Fox & Friends host to become the next ambassador to the U.N. in December. Had she been confirmed, Nauert would have replaced Nikki Haley, who resigned as ambassador in October.
But in the two months since her nomination was announced, Nauert's credentials for the position have been questioned.
Nauert had no government or foreign policy experience until she joined the Trump administration in 2017, NPR's Michelle Kelemen reported, beyond overseas stints for ABC, including in Baghdad. 
During her nearly two-year tenure in the State Department, Nauert worked alongside former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and then Pompeo.
"Heather Nauert has performed her duties as a senior member of my team with unequalled excellence," Pomeo [JB: sic] said in a statement. "Her personal decision today to withdraw her name from consideration to become the nominee for United States Ambassador to the United Nations is a decision for which I have great respect."
Her time at the State Department was not without controversy. As NPR's Kelemen noted following Nauert's nomination:
"She faced some criticism for a tourist-like Instagram post from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on a trip that was meant to focus on the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
"There have been other missteps, including the time when she cited D-Day — the Allied invasion of Normandy against the Nazis — as an example of America's strong relationship with Germany."
State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino says Trump will pick a new nominee for the position soon. Before Trump picked Nauert, Trump had considered former White House aide Dina Powell.
There had also been rumors that his daughter Ivanka Trump was under consideration. NPR's Laurel Wamsley reported, that "when the president was asked whether he was considering nominating Ivanka Trump for the U.N. post. Trump replied that she would be 'dynamite' in the job, but he was concerned about being accused of nepotism."


Photo of Heather Nauert

Heather Nauert
Department Spokesperson
Term of Appointment: 04/24/2017 to present

Heather Nauert joined the State Department as spokesperson in April 2017 after a career in broadcast journalism. Ms. Nauert was designated as Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs on March 13, 2018 to October 10. 2018.
As a New York-based anchor and correspondent at the Fox News Channel, Ms. Nauert was responsible for overseeing breaking news on the top-rated US morning cable news show. She regularly solo anchored programs on Fox and contributed to every news platform, including radio and internet, covering global and domestic crises and interviewing senior elected and military officials. In 2016, she traveled to battleground states to report on the presidential primaries and election. She also reported from the Republican and Democratic conventions, presidential debates and the inauguration.
Previously, Ms. Nauert served as a network correspondent for ABC News where she traveled extensively for breaking news stories in the United States and abroad. She was also previously a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Prior to working as a journalist, Ms. Nauert served as a health insurance consultant in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and Mount Vernon College in Washington.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Blast from the Past: The Anti-Propaganda Tradition in the United States (2008)

PDAA graphic

Public Diplomacy Alumni Association
Formerly USIA Alumni Association; see also (1) (2)

[JB note: Full text cannot be adequately formated on this blog; please note that the cited original article contains a link to references.]

Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program: Supporting Projects in Malawi

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image (not from entry) from, with caption: U.S. Embassy Lilongwe

Deadline Ongoing

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) at the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe, Malawi of the U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce that funding is available through its Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] Small Grants Program.
PAS awards a limited number of grants to individuals, non-governmental organizations, and academic institutions to support exchange between the U.S. and Malawi with the aim of improving mutual respect and understanding between the people of the two countries.
Priority Projects
The Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program supports projects with the following themes and initiatives:
Funding Information
PAS will consider proposals up to $100,000, projects that are smaller in scope are more likely to be considered.
  • Minimum Individual Award Amount: $1,000
  • Maximum Individual Award Amount: $100,000
Eligibility Criteria
  • PAS encourages applications from organizations located in Malawi, the U.S., or abroad:
    • Registered not-for-profit organizations
    • Civil society/non-governmental organizations with at least two years of programming experience
    • Educational institutions
  • Only projects that take place in Malawi will be considered. PAS encourages applicants to provide cost-sharing from additional sources in support of the proposed project.
How to Apply
Interested applicants must submit their proposals at the address given on the website.

Big Opportunities for Small NGOs. Click here to learn more.

For more information, please visit Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program.

Blast from the Past: Obituary of the diplomat/scholar who introduced "Public Diplomacy" into the Cold War American diplomatic lexicon

"Edmund Asbury Gullion, 85, Wide-Ranging Career Envoy"

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Wolfgang Saxon, The New York Times, March 31, 1998; see also (1)

Edmund Asbury Gullion, one of the country's most accomplished career ambassadors and former dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he trained the next generation of Foreign Officers, died in his sleep the night of March 17 at his home in Winchester, Mass. He was 85.

The cause was apparently a heart attack, the Fletcher School reported.

Mr. Gullion earned his spurs in war-torn Europe and ended his diplomatic career in 1964 as United States Ambassador to the recently independent Congo, a flashpoint of the cold war. As an old hand on Indochina he was also deeply involved in the conflict that tore at Southeast Asia, whose reverberations followed him even after he settled into academe in Medford, Mass.

He was dean of the Fletcher School from 1964 until 1978.

The Murrow Center, named after Edward R. Murrow, was intended to establish direct communications with the peoples of other lands and to build mutual understanding.

It also fit nicely with Mr. Guillion's [JB sic] view, expressed just recently: ''I always thought journalists and diplomats could learn a great deal from one another.''

The present dean of the Fletcher School, John R. Galvin, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, Europe, called Mr. Guillion a role model and the driving force behind the Murrow Center.

''I was a fellow at Fletcher in the early seventies when Ed Gullion was the dean,'' General Galvin said Friday. ''His gift to us was the kind of leadership and vision that carried him to the top levels of the foreign service.''

In an interview with The New York Times in 1964, Mr. Gullion said that ranking diplomats should be treated like military battle commanders -- given a general mission but left relatively free to call the shots. He said he knew of no ''Pianola'' posts where ambassadors just appreciatively watch the keyboards playing; nor, he said, had modern communications turned them into striped-pants deliverymen.

Edmund Gullion was born in Lexington, Ky. At 17, while still in high school, he won an international oratorical contest presided over by President Hoover in Washington. His theme was ''The Influence of John Marshall on World Affairs.''

He graduated from Princeton University in 1935 and from the National War College in 1949. His first diplomatic mission took him to Marseilles [JB - sic] as a deputy consul in 1937.

He was a deputy consul in Salonika when Italy invaded Greece, and he watched the capture of Salonika by the Germans, who detained him until there was an exchange of consular personnel. He was also charge d'affaires in Helsinki in 1944 when the United States cut relations with Finland as a German ally and led the exodus of Americans from Finland to Sweden.

Fluent in French, he held senior positions at the American Embassy in Saigon from 1949 to 1952. It was the beginning of the Indochinese war, and he was a supporter of Vietnamese independence from France, as well as from Communism.

Before he went to Leopoldville in 1961 as Ambassador to the former Belgian Congo, later Zaire and now again called Congo, he was deputy director of the United States Disarmament Administration under John J. McCloy.

Although he was often considered a hawk on Vietnam, his position was complicated by his first-hand knowledge. As early as 1963 former colleagues recalled a discussion in which he looked at them and asked: ''Do you really think there is such a thing as a military solution for Vietnam.''

Years later it was reported that the Johnson Administration had recruited him in 1965 to send out feelers to North Vietnam, and he secretly met with its emissaries several times in Paris. The initiative failed because of the stumbling block that would persist for years longer: the question of who was to control South Vietnam.

Mr. Gullion led a group of prominent citizens who supported the Nixon Administration's policy of ''Vietnamization'' and gradual American withdrawals.

For him, the conflict spilled over to the Fletcher campus -- where antiwar activists accused the school, and him, of being in cahoots with the Central Intelligence Agency and of American interference around the world through the Agency for International Development.

Mr. Gullion is survived by his wife of 37 years, Patricia Palmer Gullion.

See also: Nicholas Nicholas J. Cull, "Before Gullion: The Evolution of a Phrase" (2006),

My own piece pertaining to Gullion cites him as writing in Robert F. Delaney, John S. Gibson, editors, American Public Diplomacy: The Perspective of Fifty Years (1967):
Even beyond the organ of the Government set up to handle information about the United States and to explain our policies, what is important today is the interaction of groups, peoples, and cultures beyond national borders, influencing the way groups and peoples in other countries think about foreign affairs, react to our policies, and affect the policies of their respective governments.
To connote this activity, we at the Fletcher School tried to find a name. I would have liked to call it “propaganda.” It seemed like the nearest thing in the pure interpretation of the word to what we were doing. But “propaganda” has always a pejorative connotation in this country [JB see]. To describe the whole range of communications, information, and propaganda, we hit upon “public diplomacy.” 
FYI, The Gullion statement goes on to say (not cited in the above-mentioned piece):
Let me read the [Fletcher] school's definition of the term:
Public diplomacy is concerned with the ways in which governments, private groups, and individuals shape those public attitudes and opinions which influence the formulation and execution of foreign policy.
This is a short working definition. I hope it will suggest to you questions on the differences from formal diplomacy, the links with media, and the instruments of "public diplomacy."
JB comment: In the Fletcher school's definition, note that propaganda is tactfully, in a "public diplomacy" sorta way (?), not mentioned ...

An international approach to the cultural Cold War: public diplomacy towards Africa

Image result for keep calm and scholarship
image (not from entry) from
Volume 12, 2013-09,
ISSN: 1619-0459
Publisher: Digital Peer Publishing NRW

An international approach to the cultural Cold War: public diplomacy towards Africa


Gerits, Frank


This article analyzes how the tactics behind French public diplomacy [JB emphasis] in West-Africa and Congo-Leopoldville/Kinshasa evolved between 1945 and 1965. To overcome the low appeal that French propaganda had for Africans, the French gradually integrated the successful methods that their competitors in Africa employed into their own strategy. It shows that the battle for African hearts and minds was global, that Ghana and Egypt were active, and that intercultural, propaganda agencies adopted and adapted each other's successful strategies. In doing so, it hopes to emphasize the explanatory potential of a genuine international approach to diplomatic history.

The norms of diplomatic culture are an emerging field of study in International Relations among English School and Constructivist scholars. However, there exists a more neglected piece of IR scholarship dedicated to diplomacy. While Nkrumah’s vision for union government was defeated by those leaders who sought a more incremental approach to integration, the significant evolution from the OAU to the AU in 2001 signaled a shift in goals for the organization. The importance that diplomats play in the move towards regional integration has not been explored at the AU, but the role that this community can play has been detailed by Mai’a Davis Cross at the European Union. In Africa, the diplomats are a hand-brake to the more integrationist Africrats. 2. Public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy. As R.Lawniczak noted in Poland until recently public diplomacy was understood in its narrower meaning as cultural diplomacy5. It is worth noting, however, that there are a number of theoretical approaches to the relationship between the two concepts. Before entering into discussing them I would like to focus on the concept of public diplomacy. The term public diplomacy was first coined in 1965 by E. Guillon [JB - sic]. He felt that public diplomacy is concerned with the influence of social standpoints have on the formulation and implementation of foreign policy. Public Diplomacy [:]  In essence Public diplomacy is seen by some analysts in the context of inter-cultural communication. Public Diplomacy [:] In essence, public diplomacy is “an international actor’s attempt to manage the international. environment through engagement with a foreign public” (Cull, 2009, p. 12). Yet, the nature of the “international actors”, of their “environment” as well as that of their “engagement” has undergone fundamental transformation since the term came about, and has been subject to much debate, both among academics as well as practitioners. important to pay special attention to the social constructivist approach, according to which individual state interests and strategies are established based on the historical, political and cultural contexts – domestic and international – within which the state operates (Katzenstein, 1996b).

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Using American Soft Power to Support Women and Girls

Guest: Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State of Cultural, Educational Affairs in the Obama Administration and now Executive Vice President at Axios.

Wise diplomats know that American power includes the ability to persuade others to follow our lead. The United States conveys and highlights our culture and values through a wide range of public diplomacy [JB emphasis] and exchange programs administered by the Department of State. In 2017, OMB Director Mulvaney announced a “hard power budget” which proposed dramatic cuts in State Department and USAID budgets. What is the value of soft power in promoting and supporting women’s rights? What programs have been most effective in conveying the important values of equality and opportunity?

Date and time: Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 4:30pm to 5:45pm
Location: Littauer L-166 (IOP Conference Room)

Fighting Misinformation: How to Build Trust in a World of Liars

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Type: Panel Discussion
Audience: Open to the Public
Organizer: Center for Media, Data and Society
Building: Nador u. 15
Room: 101 (Quantum Room)
Academic Area:

Monday, February 25, 2019 - 5:30pm

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Date: Monday, February 25, 2019 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm

Who produces misinformation, how and why? How do people perceive misinformation in Brazil, the US, Nigeria, India or Hungary? Is social media part of the problem or the solution? What is the role of regulators, civil society, journalists and corporations in fighting misinformation?

Experts and journalists discuss various aspects of the “misinformation” phenomenon: recent trends, forms of misinformation in different contexts and potential remedies.

  • Daniel Funke, Poynter Institute
  • Anita Komuves,
  • Oren Levine, International Center for Journalists
  • Krisztina Nagy, Budapest University of Technology and Economics
  • Charles Salter, The News Literacy Project
The event is organized in the framework of our Workshop on Disinformation and Propaganda for Hungarian Students. The program is funded by the Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program of the U.S. Embassy Budapest Public Affairs Section of the Department of State to be organized by the Center for Media, Data and Society at the School of Public Policy of Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.