Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 12-14


"[H]ugging is part of my job description."

--Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonneshine; image from


Your PDPBR compiler will be teaching at Dubrovnik International University November 19-30 and it is unlikely that the PDPBR will appear during this time.


Benghazi: Implications for U.S. Public Diplomacy - Helle Dale, Heritage Foundation: “[T]he security of embassy personnel was not given sufficient priority in light of growing militant movements in Benghazi. In his memo on urgent security threats to the State Department dated August 15, Ambassador Christopher Stevens

pointed to at least 10 known militant groups in Benghazi. And yet the State Department sent Stevens to Benghazi on a public diplomacy mission: the opening of an American Corner in the U.S. consulate.  Under other circumstances, advancing understanding of America through American Corners and Centers, of which the State Department has more than 800 throughout the world, is a great idea. But certainly not where the most basic security is missing, leaving State Department personnel dangerously exposed. Thursday’s congressional hearings, public and closed-door, are critically important in deciphering what actually happened in Benghazi in September. But beyond that, Congress and the State Department have to think about recalibrating the U.S. government’s tools for public diplomacy." See also (1) (2).  Image from, with caption: A portrait of late US Ambassador to Libya Chris Steven and an Arabic sign which reads "Thanks Chris"

Engaging Asia: Public Diplomacy and 21st Century Statecraft - Remarks - Tara Sonenshine, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Washington, DC, U.S. Department of State: "As Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the United States Department of State, I work to build meaningful relationships and mutual understanding between citizens of our country and others. That is what we call public diplomacy. And we do this by joining and expanding a global conversation with people everywhere – both face to face, through educational and cultural exchanges, and through social media. Of course, digital and social media are central to public diplomacy. Our connective technologies and our innovation have changed the conditions for just about everything – from the way we communicate and share strategic information to the way we trade or invest. It has become the predominant mode of global conversation. ... I would like to talk about the importance of the Asia Pacific to the United States – and also your futures in it. Both are important. I would also like to talk about some of the ways we are working to support emerging leaders. ... We have key trading partnerships throughout the region, including China, Japan, and South Korea, and we are building new ones with emerging economies such as India and Indonesia. And we are working to build new relationships. This weekend, President Obama will travel to Bangkok, Thailand, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Rangoon, Burma. ... [I]f you want to take advantage of the resources and opportunities of American colleges and universities, English is essential. So are educational exchanges. ... Of course, we all know about Gangnam Style. Well, the man behind it – Psy – went to Boston University and the Berklee College of Music." Below image from

Remarks for Latin American Association of Binational Centers -  Tara Sonenshine, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs As Prepared for Delivery, Biennial Conference Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, November 12, 2012, U.S. Department of State: "I am delighted to have the chance to thank all of you – the academic directors, librarians, and leaders of more than 120 Binational Centers across this region – for the work you do. It is so critical to the growth and future of our hemisphere. And today, I want to talk about the work we do together: how it reinforces and complements our own priorities and programs; and how it helps young people prepare for better futures. I also want to talk about what we are planning to do in the coming year to continue our support and commitment. ... People ask: What are the benefits of public diplomacy? Why do you support the teaching of English? Why do you invite young people to study in the United States? Well, what you just heard is my answer. When we work together with a common purpose, we can see real and long term results that benefit generation after generation. That is what public diplomacy is all about."

National Model UN (NMUN) – DC 2012 Recap - Mike Engh, "Bringing together over 500 students from 11 countries, National Model UN’s fall conference took place in the heart of Washington, DC, on October 26-28. Even as the weather turned stormy due to Hurricane Sandy, delegates worked with cooperation and creativity to create resolutions in six committees.

The event was co-sponsored by the National Collegiate Conference Association and the Osgood Center of International Studies. NMUN-DC offered delegates a unique opportunity to visit the US Department of State for the conference’s opening ceremony. Tara Sonenshine, the Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy at the US Department of State, provided the opening address for the conference." Image from entry, with caption: Lyric Thompson of the International Center for Research on Women speaking at the Closing Ceremony

Scholarships for Paraguay Students - Includes mention of several public-diplomacy related programs.

American International Political Warfare - "In an article in the Journal of International Security Affairs ('Getting Serious About Strategic Influence') Professor J. Michael Waller in the fall of 2009 criticized the decision to leave public diplomacy to the State Department alone."

Leading the Voice of America: An interview with VOA director David Ensor - Washington Post: "David Ensor is the director of Voice of America (VOA), a federal broadcasting institution that delivers news and programming to an international audience. Ensor previously served as director of communications and public diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, and had a 32-year journalism career that included reporting for National Public Radio, CNN and ABC News.

[Ensor:] I have three role models. The first is Edward R. Murrow, who came from commercial TV and radio as I have, but also wanted to serve his country, as I do. He was the [fourth] director of the U.S Information Agency, of which VOA was a part. He helped set the tone for VOA to offer real journalism—telling it like it is. ... My third pick is Leo Sarkisian, who recently retired from VOA at the age of 91. He’s a musicologist, musician and a wonderful DJ. For many decades, Leo did incredible things for African music and for VOA’s impact throughout Africa. He’s been a cultural ambassador for our country throughout that continent." Image from

RFE/RL Russian ends medium wave broadcasts in Moscow, but controversy continues - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting

TOP-SECRET-NATO Public Diplomacy Strategy 2010-2011 - Bernd Pulch, "1. The Committee for Public Diplomacy (CPD) has finalised its work on the 2010/2011 NATO Public Diplomacy Strategy and approved the document under a silence procedure on 2 December 2009. 2. The strategy identifies a number of critical communications challenges that the Alliance is facing and proposes two priority areas that deserve special attention in NATO’s communication efforts over the next two years: NATO’s role and achievements in operations and missions and the Alliance’s identity and strategic direction. Against this background the strategy lays out a broad range of communication approaches and tools that will help the Alliance to generate public support for its policies, operations and missions and ultimately improve NATO’s public image and reputation."

“We have to negotiate with Turkey on its joining the Eurasian Union” - "Interview with

Sergey Markov, the deputy head of the Inter-Committee Working Group on International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy, on relations between Russia and Turkey, Russian-Georgian relations and Turkish influence on Abkhazia. Image, presumably of Markov, from article

Foodathon 2012 and the dopportunity of ‘category blogging’ in India - Madhurjya Kotoky, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "‘Category blogging,’ as I may call it, actually presents an additional engagement opportunity for state-sponsored public diplomacy initiatives. Click here for an idea of different categories of blogs in India. ... With niche blogs becoming influential in India, PD practitioners would do well to keep them in the loop on the conversations that go on!"

Soft Diplomacy Skills Brief - Ines Pires-Urquiza, "The term Public Diplomacy is now on the lips of the world. Just 10 years ago this term referred only to a public service specialised actions. However, the need of the transparent communication between governments, countries and citizens in this global international system influenced by soft diplomacy is increasing. ... However, public diplomacy is not a solution to all state ills, the border of communication and propaganda is a thin line. ... Public Diplomacy term was born in the USA supported by activities

promoting both policies and society values. After a strategic implementation of a public diplomacy plan governments need to measure the impact of that implementation strategy. Foreign Ministries should accurately review their strategies, messages, partners, society and targets followed by implementing them appropriately." Image from

The Growing Challenge of PD - Calvin Hayes, Applied Public Diplomacy Group 3 Blog: "Public diplomacy is a powerful tool to connect with audiences, influence decision makers and communicate foreign policy objectives. As the field of PD has emerged, many challenges and opportunities have developed."

Public Diplomacy and Global Communication - oskinnn, "The study of public diplomacy does not present an exact definition. Different view will put it in different context. However it can mean talking or even passing on ideas using strategic means of communication. The absence of its definition term may suggest to be a positive concept, a public good for the public good."

Bono: Celebrity Diplomat Extraordinaire or Annoying Celebrity Fluff? - Heather Freitag, "About Heather Freitag [:] George Washington University Global Communication masters

student, focusing on international development and public diplomacy. Love to travel. Dabbling in photography." Freitag image from entry

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