Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Menendez Demands State Department Address Falling Rates of Internal Enrollment in U.S. Schools ...

foreign.senate.gov, November 19

Image result for marie royce state department
Image (not from entry) from, under the headline: Marie Royce, wife of O.C. congressman, picked by Trump for State Dept. 

WASHINGTON D.C. – Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today wrote a letter to Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, to express his concern about the declining number of international students enrolling in U.S. colleges and universities during the Trump Administration. According to a State Department-funded report, enrollment of international students has fallen for the second straight year.

“I worry that the Administration’s aggressive anti-immigration posture and xenophobic orientation - including restricting the issuance of skilled-worker visas, permanent residencies, and seeking to establish a maximum stay period for international students – deters many potential students who have dreams of studying at one of America’s great educational institutions,” wrote the Senator, who has championed fully funding educational and cultural exchange programs. “These programs are critical to sustaining the United States’ global leadership and as a fixture of education, freedom, and openness for the world.”

Citing the 23,000 international students in higher education institutions across the state of New Jersey, Menendez reiterated the important economic and diplomatic contributions that foreign students make to the United States, calling them proven and cost-effective ways for the United States to remain internationally competitive.

The Senator concluded by asking Assistant Secretary Royce to outline what steps the Trump administration is taking to address this alarming decline, counter negative perceptions of the United States and eliminate barriers to study at American colleges and universities.

A copy of the letter can be found here and below:

November 19, 2018

The Honorable Marie Royce

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs

U.S. Department of State

2201 C Street NW

Washington, D.C. 20520

Assistant Secretary Royce,

I write to express concern regarding a troubling new report showing that the number of international students entering U.S. colleges and universities has fallen for the second straight year. According to the Institute of International Education[1], in a State Department-funded report, the number of new enrollments for the 2017-2018 school year declined by 6.6 percent compared to the 2016-2017 academic year, which itself had seen a 3.3 percent decrease from the year before.

While the State Department has noted that the nearly 1.1 million international students enrolled in American colleges and universities is a record, the data indicates a declining trend of international students choosing to study in the United States. Analysts and anecdotes indicate that new visa restrictions, harsh immigration policies, and perceived antipathy in the United States’ towards foreigners has contributed to this decline. Unfortunately, this tracks with a series of recent international polls which indicate that across the world people have increasingly negative views of the United States. It stands to reason that the President’s repeated disparaging claims about Latin Americans and Latin American countries have contributed to decreased applications from the region.

New Jersey proudly welcomes almost 23,000 international students to higher education institutions across the state. These students not only contribute to meaningful public diplomacy [JB emphasis], they also contribute around $820 million to the local and state economy. Across the entire United States, that number goes up to $42.4 billion.

However, I worry that the Administration’s aggressive anti-immigration posture and xenophobic orientation - including restricting the issuance of skilled-worker visas, permanent residencies, and seeking to establish a maximum stay period for international students – deters many potential students who have dreams of studying at one of America’s great educational institutions.

As you well know, the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ work is critical to promoting and strengthening U.S. global leadership. Your programs, which include higher education and exchange programs, are proven and cost-effective ways for the United States to remain internationally competitive, develop American leaders, engage current and future international leaders, build a network of partnerships rooted in shared values, and promote American interests. Results repeatedly show that when international students visiting the United States return to their home countries, they have a better impression of our country, the American people, and our values. Similarly, U.S. students and communities benefit immensely from international exchange students who offer personal windows to the world.

While the President has repeatedly sought to significantly reduce the funding for educational and cultural exchange programs, I was proud to lead a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging them to fully fund these initiatives.

Given the importance of these programs, I ask that you outline initiatives your office and the Department more broadly are taking to increase the number of international students coming to the United States, how you plan to counter the increasingly negative perceptions of the U.S., and how you plan to eliminate any unnecessary barriers to studying at our institutions. These programs are critical to sustaining the United States’ global leadership and as a fixture of education, freedom, and openness for the world.


Robert Menendez

Ranking Member


[1] (IIE), I. o (2018). Open Doors 2018. Washington, D.C.: Institute of International Education and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Juan Pachon 202-224-4651

Inter-parliamentary cooperation has the greatest impact on public diplomacy

iranpress.com; article contains a video of an interview with Ali Reza Rahimi

Image result for Ali Reza Rahimi
Image of Ali Reza Rahimi from

A member of the executive committee of the Iranian parliament (Majlis ), Ali Reza Rahimi has emphasized that inter-parliamentary cooperation, and parliamentary friendship groups have the greatest impact on public diplomacy [underlined by JB].

Iran news: In an exclusive interview with Iran Press on Tuesday, Ali Reza Rahimi said within the Islamic Consultative assembly (the Majlis) parliamentary friendship groups are a part of the structure of the Majlis, and all MPs belong to one or more parliamentary friendship groups. Rahimi added: "All MPs, without exception, belong to at least one parliamentary friendship group."

Rahimi, a member of the executive committee of the Majlis added: "All parliamentary friendship groups have a chairperson, a co-chairperson , and a secretary. In parliaments of other countries we also have parliamentary friendship groups which frequently engage in bilateral discussions with other parliaments and other countries, and sometimes in multilateral discussions between parliamentary friendship groups of several countries, discussing regional issues."

Rahimi who represents a constituency in Tehran added: "Within the Iranian parliament (Majlis) we look at parliamentary friendship groups in a practical way. Members of these groups who often travel abroad to other parliaments, after returning to Tehran present detailed reports of their negotiations abroad and how successful they have been in accomplishing their mission."

He added: "These reports are presented both on the floor of the Majlis, as well as in the relevant parliamentary commission for appraisal and evaluation by other MPs and experts."

Rahimi emphasized that inter-parliamentary cooperation, and parliamentary friendship groups have potentially the greatest influence on public diplomacy of other nations. 

Public Diplomacy [Think Tank]

cga.italiandiplomaticacademy.org/publicdiplomacy/ ; entry contains a translation option and additional illustrations



Public diplomacy [JB emphasis] is a public face of a traditional diplomacy".

Un’attuazione della politica estera attraverso negoziati internazionali e attività professionale, che viene esercitata dai diplomatici. Si distingue dalla diplomazia tradizionale in quanto include l’interazione non solo con i governi, ma in particolare le organizzazioni governative e non. La diplomazia pubblica presuppone un processo di comunicazione aperto, in contrapposizione alla diplomazia tradizionale, le cui caratteristiche erano segretezza ed esclusività.


La diplomazia pubblica non consiste solo nel trasmettere un’informazione in modo neutrale ma è definita esattamente dalla sua intenzione di persuadere. La persuasione è un complesso processo dalla cui interazione emergono la volontà di far accettare le posizioni proposte e modelli comportamentali.


Peculiarità dell’IDA Center for Global Affairs è lo studio e la ricerca sul campo attraverso l’interazione costante con le istituzioni, le università, la società civile e il mondo imprenditoriale. La ricerca, quella pura, è orientata alla definizione di strategie politiche ridando valore alla competenza basata su criteri di affidabilità e credibilità delle fonti. Principali ambiti di competenza e ricerca del Center sono:

- Public Policy Analysis;
- Cultural Diplomacy;
- International Cooperation;
- Academic research.

IDA Center for Global Affairs

IDA Center for Global Affairs partecipa e organizza:

- International Fora;
- Academic research;
sui principali temi delle Relazioni Internazionali.

Italian Diplomatic Academy: preparing the next generation of leaders


UN must bring more women police officers into the fold to be effective – UN peacekeeping official
Conflict and inequality shape children’s lives in Iraq; UNICEF urges ‘right policies’ for protection
Sudan: lotta alla malnutrizione, Italia ospita donatori progetto “SUN – Scaling Up Nutrition”
Palazzo Pindemonti, Via Leoncino 5, Verona, Italia
Verona: 045 2069755 - Roma: 069 4809017

PM’s humility admired in Nigeria


PM’s humility

admired in

Hasina image from article

Daily Leadership, one of the most influential Nigerian dailies on Sunday mentioned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as one of the world leaders with humble lifestyles, reports UNB.

The daily carried a feature story in its “Unreported” section only on five world leaders titled “World Leaders With Humble Lifestyles,” said Bangladesh High Commissioner to Nigeria M Shameem Ahsan.

It specially mentioned about her modest monthly salary (US$ 800 equivalent to Nigerian Naira 288000) while referring to Forbes’s list of the “World’s Hundred Most Powerful Women” in which Prime Minister was ranked at 59, he said. “Two of the most outstanding achievements of Sheikh Hasina are her leadership roles and success behind the trials of Bangabandhu killers and the persons who committed crimes against humanity in 1971,” the prestigious daily pointedly mentioned. As a part of public diplomacy drive, the High Commissioner recently visited some media houses in Nigeria in recent months including the Office of the Daily Leadership.

Dele Fanimo, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Daily assured to work closely with the Bangladesh High Commission to create greater understanding between the peoples of the two friendly countries.

Monday, November 19, 2018

[Discussion on US-Russia Public Diplomacy at the annual convention of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES); from the preliminary program]

Image result for Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
image from

aseees.org; on the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), see

[Boston, Sunday, December 9, 10:00-11:45 am ]

14-40 US-Russia Public Diplomacy [JB emphasis] - Tremont, 1

Chair: Jennifer Hudson, U of Texas at Dallas

Papers: Meri Elisabet Herrala, U of Helsinki (Finland)
"Soviet Elite Performers in America in the 1950s and 1960s"

Jennifer Hudson, U of Texas at Dallas
"Cold War Grassroots Diplomacy"

Lyubov A Ginzburg, United Nations
"Performing as Global Citizens: UN Educational Outreach Activities in Studying History and International Relations"

Disc.: William Benton Whisenhunt, College of DuPage

The Trump administration's influence in the Indo-Pacific region

Following the expert seminar addressing China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) organized by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation's (SPF) Japan-US Program, SPF Now had the opportunity to meet with the featured experts to take a closer look at topics ranging from infrastructure investment to great power politics.

Abigail Grace, Research Associate at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), discussed her expectations for the potential implementation of the policies presented in the report "Power Play," which she coauthored, and touched on broader geopolitical shifts in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world. Dr. Kei Koga, Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, elaborated on his research into the reception of BRI policies in Southeast Asia, the potential role of Japan in the region, and the impressions of the Trump administration and its policies.

Below are excerpts from those two interviews, which were conducted separately. Comments have been arranged according to topic and edited for length and clarity.

Jackie Enzmann, Chief Editor ...

Role of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation and other groups outside of government
Dr. Kei Koga: The confidence toward the Trump administration in Southeast Asia has been decreasing but I don't think Southeast Asia lost all the trust toward the United States. They think of this as just the Trump administration. So in the longer run, maybe the U.S. would go back to its traditional behavior emphasizing the rules-based order through multilateralism. But for the time being, I don't think Southeast Asian countries expect that the U.S. is going to engage in multilateralism.

The biggest concern for Japan is that in the Trump administration, policy changes have been coming up out of the blue. Japan would not know what to expect because even if senior officials between the two negotiate about a particular agenda, it is always possible that President Trump will discuss a new agenda, which was not considered previously. Even though Prime Minister Abe frequently meets with President Trump, I think it is still hard to know what he will demand in the next couple of months. The good news is that U.S.-Japan relations are institutionally strong, so this does not trigger the deterioration of the bilateral relations. Now, the Japanese government has to be patient and try to cultivate a deeper relationship with President Trump. ...
Abigail Grace: I think NGOs can really be helpful in identifying the needs and concerns of populations that are most immediately affected by infrastructure concerns. I think that when one sits in policy positions and is looking for the optimal place to build something on a map, they don't know the people that live there. It's time consuming to go out and do stakeholder interviews and engage with the population. I think NGOs can really be a value added, bridging that gap between communities and policy practitioners.

Regarding public diplomacy [JB emphasis], I think that non-governmental organizations certainly have that additional credibility because they're not speaking on behalf of any government and I think they're more reliable to accurately convey unbiased information by providing fact sheets, literature, and public awareness campaigns. I think that would be something that would be better received by local populations than if it was just solely a government actor.

Dr. Kei Koga: Since SPF has already organized some research projects including the "Power Play" report and also my research project, maybe it would be interesting to include a Chinese counterpart, for example researchers or businessmen. I think that if we talk about BRI, it would be really interesting to see how Chinese counterparts really want to implement the development projects through BRI. Particularly now, Japan and China are having a conversation about BRI, so it would be great to have institutionalized Track 2 [JB - see] forums among the three. SPF deals with a broad range of issues including Japan, China, the U.S., and Southeast Asia, so I think that SPF would be able to play a role. I really enjoyed this research supported by SPF and I expect to continue it over the next couple of months. Through these projects, I hope that Japan, China, and the United States could find a way to cooperate in building infrastructure in Asia and beyond.

[Tweet re Russia and Eurasia Program – U.S-Russia Relations Initiative (Tufts Fletcher School)]


The term was coined here at . So good to have Natalia Burlinova and Oleg Shakirov join to speak on public diplomacy [JB emphasis] and and the role of NGOs in Russian society.

INF 390N - Information Policy: Strategic Communications For National Security


Unique ID:27849
Room:SRH 3.312
Time:9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Graduate standing. Additional prerequisites may vary with the topic.
Critical examination of conflicts and trends in information policy in private organizations and in federal, state, and international public-sector organizations.

Three lecture hours a week for one semester.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary.
Instructor: Alan Kessler

Cross-listing of P A 388K, offered by the LBJ School of Public Affairs.

Topic description from Public Affairs:
This seminar will examine the history and modern practice of strategic communications, focusing on how government agencies use information campaigns to shape foreign perceptions of national security issues. Through selected readings, lectures, class discussions, and research, participants will examine how the U.S. government and, to a lesser extent, foreign governments develop and implement information campaigns to support strategic communications objectives. Using case studies that include Cold War crises, 9/11, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the seminar will identify factors that contribute to successful, and less than successful, efforts to inform, influence, and persuade foreign publics to support—or at least not actively oppose—U.S. national security objectives. The seminar will also consider the limitations of communications and public diplomacy as instruments of “soft power” and examine how new technologies such as social media affect policymakers’ ability to influence the attitudes of foreign audiences.
Topic Description:
Strategic Communications For National Security

Funds for NGOs

www2.fundsforngos.org [scroll down entry]

IOC Women and Sport Awards: Promoting the Advancement of Gender Equality in Sport

Australia Awards in Indonesia: Seeking Applications for Alumni Grant Scheme

Netherlands Enterprise Agency: Seeking Applications for SDG Partnership Facility (SDGP)

Thomas Wall Trust: Grants for UK Registered Charities

Applications Open for New Zealand Communities Growth Trust Grant Round 2018!

UNESCO RFPs: Support to Girls’ Right to Education and Safeguarding Cultural Heritage through Education in Pakistan

Efficiency for Access Coalition: Inviting Applicants for Research & Development (R&D) Fund

U.S. Mission to Ukraine: Seeking Applications for Democracy Commission Small Grants Program

U.S. Embassy in Marshall Islands: 2019 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation Large Grants Competition

U.S. Embassy in Marshall Islands: 2019 U.S. AFCP Small Grants Competition

Australian Embassy in the Philippines: Seeking Proposals for 2018 Direct Aid Program (DAP)

Call for Proposals: EcoAction Community Funding Program

British Council: UK-China BRI Countries Partnership Fund Grants Program

Strategic Legal Fund: Promoting Rights of Vulnerable Migrant Children and Young People in UK

Submit Applications for Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grants Program!

Submit Applications for U.S. Mission to Canada Public Affairs Grants Program!

European Commission: Seeking Applications for ‘Blue Careers’ Program

European Commission: Call for Proposals for Projects Combating Environmental Crime

Social Innovation Fund: Seeking Applications for Social Enterprise Development Fund 2019

UIA Initiative: Providing Resources to Urban Areas throughout Europe

U.S. Mission to Nigeria: Seeking Applications for Public Diplomacy Small Grants Program

U.S. Mission to Uganda: Seeking Proposals for Community Grants to Combat HIV/AIDS Program

Action 24 Call for Proposals: Small Grant Facility to Foster Broader Public Participation on Environmental Issues in South Africa

William T Grant Foundation: Research Grants on Improving the Use of Research Evidence

U.S. Mission to Ukraine: Seeking Applications for Democracy Commission Small Grants Program


Image result for $200,000
image (not from entry) from

Deadline: 7 December 2018
The U.S. Embassy Kyiv of the U.S. Department of State has announced an open competition for organizations to submit applications aimed at supporting free, fair, and transparent Presidential and Parliamentary Elections 2019 in Ukraine.
Proposals may include, but should not be limited to the following activities:
  • Conducting voter education campaigns focused on election procedures, integrity, and the threat of disinformation.
  • Organizing non-partisan “get-out-the-vote” drives to mobilize people to vote. Increasing young voters’ turnout with peer-to-peer activities.
  • Identifying and encouraging special groups to educate voters and increase public participation, including internally displaced persons, Roma, veterans of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and elderly populations.
  • Protecting electoral rights for vulnerable populations.
Funding Information
  • Estimated Total Program Funding: $200,000
  • Award Ceiling: $20,000
  • Award Floor: $7,000
Project Themes
Project proposals must clearly promote one or more of the following themes:
  • Civil society development
  • Rule of law and legal reform
  • Transparency in government
  • Public education and advocacy
  • Conflict resolution and encouraging peaceful solutions to conflict
  • Human rights, including those for minorities, LGBTI, people with disabilities and women
  • Civic education
  • Electoral system support
  • Anti-trafficking (CTIP)
Eligibility Criteria
  • Grants can only be given to Ukrainian NGOs (non-profit and non-governmental organizations) registered in accordance with Ukrainian law. NGOs include, but are not limited to, civic organizations or associations, charitable foundations, and think tanks.
  • NGOs and their members cannot represent or be affiliated with any political party, or with appointed or elected officials.
  • Although the maximum funding available for a single grant is $50,000 U.S. dollars (USD), we anticipate most awards will be in the range of $10,000 – $24,000 USD.
  • U.S. or other third-country organizations and individuals are not eligible to apply for grants.
  • General competition applications must be submitted both in English and in Ukrainian.
  • In addition to this general competition, the U.S. Embassy will, from time to time, hold special regional or thematic competitions, which may have different rules regarding project eligibility. Please check the U.S. Embassy website and social media sites for announcements.
  • Project dates cannot exceed one year.
How to Apply
Proposals must be submitted via email at the address given on the website.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2Dvwv4v

Senior Public Affairs Specialist - Embassy of the United States of America

Senior Public Affairs Specialist

The United States Consulate General invites applications for the Senior Public Affairs Specialist position located in our Public Affairs Section in Auckland.
Directing an exciting spectrum of programs, the Senior Public Affairs Specialist is responsible for managing a team of three Public Affairs staff; leading Consulate General engagement with key opinion leaders in the media, science, business, political and other sectors; developing substantive programs to connect with these and other audiences on key policy issues; supporting visiting U.S. experts and speakers; supporting media outreach; and organizing public diplomacy [JB emphasis] programs in the Cook Islands and Niue. The incumbent reports directly to the Public Affairs Officer.
If you are a communications/public affairs professional, and fostering ties between the U.S. and NZ in a range of areas sounds like your specialty, we would like to hear from you.
The starting salary range for this position is NZD $80,981 per annum with some special benefits e.g. both U.S. and New Zealand Holidays - a total of 20 days; and 8.7% contribution by the employer to an employee's retirement.  If you meet all the eligibility criteria for this role, please complete and submit your application form, cover letter and CV via Seek.com.  For further information, please write to: Wellington.HR@state.gov.
To qualify for this role you will have a minimum of four years of progressively responsible experience in media, education, programming cultural activities, public relations, marketing or government with speechwriting/writing experience plus one year of supervisory experience.  The ideal candidate will not only have experience in traditional public engagement and tools, but also strong writing skills, event planning abilities and media relations experience.  This professional experience is complemented with your Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field (Liberal Arts, Education, Humanities, Business, History, Literature, Political Science, Public Policy, International Relations, Communications, Marketing, or Public Relations).
You must have exceptional organizational, interpersonal and communication skills, strong existing networks among relevant stakeholders, and an ability to develop and maintain key contacts with relevant sectors, institutions and organizations throughout New Zealand. The position also requires knowledge of New Zealand’s political, civic and business landscapes, organizations and communities, and a strong understanding of U.S and NZ society, culture, politics and history.
The NZ-U.S. bilateral relationship is a hugely exciting one – spanning many fascinating sectors including aerospace, innovation, trade, public health, security and a whole lot more – if you think you’re the right fit for this unique role, we look forward to your application.
All employees of the U.S. Government are required to complete full medical and security background checks.  The U.S. Government is not able to sponsor a work visa for applicants who do not already have work authorization for New Zealand.
Applications close Sunday, 2 December 2018.
Note: Only short listed applicants will be contacted regarding the next phase of the selection process.  To those applicants not short listed, we extend our appreciation for considering the U.S. Government as a potential employer.