Monday, September 7, 2015

Preparing for a "Public Diplomacy Career" in the State Department -- Facebook entry (slightly edited)

John Brown  ... As a former PD "practitioner" (for my sins) I find all the theorizing/institutionalizing of "public diplomacy" (which, in real-life terms, is really about having a pleasant lunch with interesting people [just kidding, but not too much]) -- presents a false picture of this undefinable discipline (and I mean discipline) in the service of one's country, that goes far beyond, in preparing for it, by getting an "MA" degree from yet another USA PD "higher education" learnery -- a discipline that requires not two years on an "safe" American campus but, above all, an appreciation of "the Other," gained from a background in history, languages, travel, and the humanities that takes far longer than two years (or getting an "MA" degree). With all due respect to American universities giving (at enormous costs to students) degrees in "public diplomacy," I think PD, to "prepare" for it, as a career for those interested in it, is essentially something one lives/does/experiences, rather than "academically" learns about (ok, the two may not be contradictory). Think of Jazz. May I refer you to my poet/diplomat father's wonderful article: Best, John -- and with much admiration for all you [the person to whom the comment is intended] are doing to increase international understanding. 

Elsewhere in you will find a piece by John Brown, a serving Foreign Service officer, on the role of public diplomacy; here...
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