Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ransom (Random?) Thoughts: 20 Years! Historical (hysterical) events in American public diplomacy, 1999-2019 [in rough chronological order]

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--Elimination of the Cold War-founded/USG-funded United States Information Agency (USIA) (1999); its function integrated into the State Department; see

--Creation of a State Department Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public affairs, an often vacant post with no current employee, the last one of whom stated (1)

--Denigration of the "public diplomacy" function within the State Department hierarchy, especially in the field [this is a personal comment (ca. 2012) from someone who had the privilege of being a PD dip for some twenty years (2)].

--Proliferation/academisation of college programs on public diplomacy; but what "real jobs" will these earnest grads get after borrowing for tuition fees?

Hegel wrote: "The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk." What did he mean? What is the owl of Minerva? ... perpetual tragedy of life: the owl of Minerva flies at dusk." From

--Privatization of public diplomacy: Let business "do" it. At whose expense/ investment? The consumer?

--Modification/elimination of the adjective preceding "public diplomacy," formerly modified (but not always) (see "Diplomacies, from Public to Pubic")

--Digitalization (the latest graze [3]): Who needs personal, face-to-face contact when you've got a cell phone! (Part of the ahistorial  cyberutopian mentality?) 

--And perhaps, as the USA abandons 20th-cent "public diplomacy," as traditionally (wrongly?) formulated during the Cold War, other countries -- notably in Asia, and to some extent in Eastern Europe and Africa -- are proclaiming it with abandon (in their interpretation, of course). (Check my blog on references to PD in many countries, especially China, South Korea, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia ...)

--Key Question: Who will come up with an original idea beyond -- digilization/ "fighting" trolls' fake news -- of this arguably anachronistic term,"public diplomacy," in order to remind us  human beings, all together, that we are all but a speck in the universe?
(1) “Basically every country creates their own narrative story,” Stengel said. “My old job at the State Department was what people used to joke [call] the chief propagandist job. I’m not against propaganda, every country does it and they have to do it to their own population and I don’t necessarily think it’s that awful."

(2) I go to "report" the HR Dept at the State Dept after my last posting in Russia (early 90s). A Department functionary, behind an inquisitorial-looking (to me) desk, as she picks up my bio from her printer (I recall from my faulty memory):

"She: You look pretty clean.
Yours Truly [YT]: Thank you Madam.
She: You spent most of your time in hardship posts.
YT [ironically, beyond her comprehension] : Well, they weren't that hard ...
She: But you are public diplomacy, aren't you?
YT: Yes, Madam.

[JB Note]: No mention of public diplomacy in the below document, "The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America, August 2019"

United States Intelligence Community Seal.svg

Image from Wikipedia, "Seal of the United States Intelligence Community," which states: "The United States Intelligence Community (IC) is a federation of 16 separate United States government intelligence agencies and a 17th administrative office, that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities to support the foreign policy and national security of the United States."

Excerpt from document cited above:
The National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America August 2019

IC Vision: A Nation made more secure by a fully integrated, agile, resilient, and innovative Intelligence Community that exemplifies America’s values.

IC Mission:  Provide timely, insightful, objective, and relevant intelligence and support to inform national security decisions and to protect our Nation and its interests.

This National Intelligence Strategy (NIS) provides the Intelligence Community (IC) with strategic direction from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) for the next four years. It supports the national security priorities outlined in the National Security Strategy as well as other national strategies. In executing the NIS, all IC activities must be responsive to national security priorities and must comply with the Constitution, applicable laws and statutes, and Congressional oversight requirements. All our activities will be conducted consistent with our guiding principles: We advance our national security, economic strength, and technological superiority by delivering distinctive, timely insights with clarity, objectivity, and independence; we achieve unparalleled access to protected information and exquisite >understanding of our adversaries’ intentions and capabilities; we maintain global awareness for strategic warning; and we leverage what others do well, adding unique value for the Nation.

From the Director of National Intelligence

As the Director of National Intelligence, I am fortunate to lead an Intelligence Community (IC) composed of the best and brightest professionals who have committed their careers and their lives to protecting our national security. The IC is a 24/7/365 organization, scanning the globe and delivering the most distinctive, timely insights with clarity, objectivity, and independence to advance our national security, economic strength, and technological superiority.

This, the fourth iteration of the National Intelligence Strategy (NIS), is our guide for the next four years to better serve the needs of our customers, to help them make informed decisions on national security issues, and to ultimately keep our Nation safe. The NIS is designed to advance our mission and align our objectives with national strategies, and it provides an opportunity to communicate national priority objectives to our workforce, partners, oversight, customers, and also to our fellow citizens.
We face significant changes in the domestic and global environment; we must be ready to meet 21st century challenges and to recognize emerging threats and opportunities. To navigate today’s turbulent and complex strategic environment, we must do things differently. This means we must:
• Increase integration and coordination of our intelligence activities to achieve best effect and value in executing our mission,
• Bolster innovation to constantly improve our work,
• Better leverage strong, unique, and valuable partnerships to support and enable national security outcomes, and
• Increase transparency while protecting national security information to enhance accountability and public trust.

This National Intelligence Strategy increases emphasis in these areas. It better integrates counterintelligence and security, better focuses the IC on addressing cyber threats, and sets clear direction on privacy, civil liberties and transparency.

We have crucial work before us. Our customers depend on us to help them to make wise national security decisions, and Americans count on us to help protect the Nation, all while protecting their privacy and civil liberties. We must provide the best intelligence possible to support these objectives; doing so is a collective responsibility of all of our dedicated IC professionals and, together with our partners, we can realize our vision.

Our ongoing goal is to continue to be the very best intelligence community in the world. Thank you for your service and for bringing your talent and commitment to the work of keeping our Nation safe each and every day. Thank you for your dedication to our mission and to the security of our fellow citizens as we take this journey together.

Daniel R. Coats
Director of National Intelligence ...

Mission Objectives

National Intelligence and Intelligence Related to National Security means all intelligence, regardless of the source from which derived and including information gathered within or outside the United States, that pertains, as determined consistent with any guidance issued by the President, or that is determined for the purpose of access to information by the Director to pertain to more than one United States Government agency; and that involves threats to the United States, its people, property, or interests; the development, proliferation, or use of weapons of mass destruction; or any other matter bearing on United States national or homeland security. (Executive Order 12333)

The seven mission objectives broadly describe the activities and outcomes necessary for the IC to deliver timely, insightful, objective, and relevant intelligence and support to its customers. Mission objectives address a broad range of regional and functional topics facing the IC and their prioritization is communicated to the IC through the National Intelligence Priorities Framework.

Mission Objectives 
The first three mission objectives address foundational [missions of the IC which transcend individual threats, topics, or geographic regions. This is different from foundational military intelligence, which is intelligence on foreign military capabilities. As such, foundational mission objectives collectively represent the broadest and most fundamental of the IC’s intelligence missions.
The next four mission objectives address specific, topical missions of the IC. The topical mission objectives are supported by the three foundational mission objectives and may contain elements of these. Other specific regional and functional issues, such as conflict areas and transnational criminal organizations, are implicitly covered by the mission objectives.

1 Strategic Intelligence addresses issues of enduring national security interest.

 2 Anticipatory Intelligence addresses new and emerging trends, changing conditions, and underappreciated developments.

3 Current Operations Intelligence supports planned and ongoing operations.

4 Cyber Threat Intelligence addresses state and non-state actors engaged in malicious cyber activities.

5 Counterterrorism addresses state and non-state actors engaged in terrorism and related activities.

6 Counterproliferation addresses state and non-state actors engaged in the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery

7 Counterintelligence and Security addresses threats from foreign intelligence entities and insiders. ... 

Russia, Information and International Influence

by UCL Anthropology,

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Date And Time

Thu, 7 February 2019
17:00 – 18:15 GMT

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LG26, Bentham House

4-8 Endsleigh Gdns



United Kingdom

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Russia’s use of information policy and media instruments to project influence abroad, in part by confusing and disorienting target audiences, is the subject of lively debate in Western countries. In Russia itself, management of 'the information space', including attempts to regulate the internet and social media, is seen as a key element of domestic political control. At this panel seminar three eminent experts will consider Russia’s approach to information policy and public diplomacy [JB emphasis], and the nature of its roots in Soviet and post Soviet social and political structures and values.

Duncan Allan is an associate fellow of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House and Director of Octant Research & Analysis Ltd, an independent consultancy. He was a member of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Research Analysts cadre for over 28 years, working on the countries of the former Soviet Union, particularly Russia and Ukraine, and serving at the British Embassies in Moscow and Kyiv.

Alena Ledeneva is Professor of Politics and Society at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, a founding director of the Global Informality Project and a founder of the UCL Press FRINGE series. She is an expert on informal governance practices and economies, and the role of networks and patron-client relationships. Her books Russia's Economy of Favours (1998), How Russia Really Works (2006), and Can Russia Modernize? (2013) have become must-read sources. Her latest co-edited volume is The Global Encyclopedia of Informality.

Peter Pomerantsev is a writer, TV producer and senior fellow at the London School of Economics. His book on Russian propaganda, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, won the 2016 Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and is translated into over a dozen languages. His next, This Is Not Propaganda: adventures in the war against reality about the global battle for hearts and minds is due out in 2019. Pomerantsev publishes in numerous media including the Financial Times, London Review of Books, Politico and Atlantic.

The event is linked to the MA Public Diplomacy & Global Communication and chaired by Cornelia Sorabji, Professor of Political Anthropology & Public Diplomacy, and Counsellor Strategy & External Expertise at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

AAV Alumni and Award Promotions Coordinator - Port Vila, Vanuatu
Location of Vanuatu
Image of Vanuatu Republic from Wikipedia

port vila
Image (not from entry) from, which notes: Port-Vila is the capital of Vanuatu and the administrative centre of the Shefa Province. It is situated on the southern cost of the island of Efaté and possesses the biggest port and airport in the country, as well as a university. Thanks to these facilities, the city of Port Vila has become an economic and commercial centre.

Job no: 497618
Work type: Contract
Location: Vanuatu
Categories: International development
  • Opportunity to contribute to the education sector in Vanuatu
  • Based in Port Vila, Vanuatu
  • Duration: Full time contract until December 2021
The Program
On behalf of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Coffey is managing the delivery of support and technical assistance to the Vanuatu Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) as part of the Vanuatu Education Support Program (VESPII). We support the MoE in implementing its reform program that is focused on children across Vanuatu having better access to an inclusive, quality basic education, as well as supporting the management and allocation of education resources through evidence-based decision making.
VESPII commences in February 2019 and will help build on the Ministry’s reforms to date and support teachers and students into the senior Primary years. As part of VESPII, the Australia Awards Vanuatu (AAV) will also be supported.
Coffey through VESPII (AAV) is seeking applications for the position of AAV Alumni and Award Promotions Coordinator to join this program. 
This role is reserved for Vanuatu citizens.
The Position
The main focus of this role is strengthening, extending and advocating the AAV Alumni network. This includes in the planning, coordination and delivery of the AAV Alumni activities in Vanuatu, covering responsibility for working with Alumni to identify topics and speakers for the regular monthly Alumni events, as well as the promotion and expansion of the Alumni across Vanuatu.
Key duties
Reporting to the Australia Awards Officer this role will also support the administration and delivery of each stage of the scholarships cycle, through providing targeted support and inputs to the promotion, applications, selection and mobilisation of scholars. Other key responsibilities will include.
  • -Plan and manage the Alumni event calendar throughout the year.
  • -Working with the VESPII Communications and Strategic Reporting Manager, develop materials and public diplomacy [JB emphasis] information suitable for use in social media and webpages
  • -Take a leading role in the communications and promotional activities in the AAV scholarship cycle, including strategies that engage with communities and Alumni across Vanuatu
  • -Work closely with the AAV Coordinator to plan and implement a set of of tailored alumni activities, with the purpose of expanding and strengthening the network.
  • -Maintain an understanding of OASIS (scholarship system) to enable its use and reporting
  • -Ensure GEDSI initiatives are included in AAV support activities and for Alumni events.
The Person
We are seeking applicants with a relevant tertiary qualification in a relevant field, e.g. administration, management, human resource development or communications. The successful candidate will have at least four years’ experience in a similar (highly operational) role. You will have highly developed planning and implementation skills including the ability to effectively manage a range of competing tasks in a timely manner. Demonstrated ability to work with a range of stakeholders, including government officials, donor representatives and AAV alumni is essential as well as a positive customer focused approach. You will have proficient computer skills including MS office and some experience with data systems and previous work on an international development or development scholarships program is highly desirable. A high level of oral and written skills in Bislama and English is essential. The successful candidate will have the ability to operate in a cooperative team environment and be willing to provide support to colleagues during busy times in this interesting role.
Further enquiries can be directed to quoting job number 497618.
Applications close:  5pm (Port Vila time) 4th February 2019.
Coffey has a 40 year history in successfully delivering international development projects on behalf of donors right around the world, including Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, USAID and the UK's Department for International Development. Our people work side by side with local partners to support stability, economic growth and good governance, positively changing people's lives.  Coffey has robust policies and guidelines which exemplify our commitment to safeguarding and technical excellence in gender equality. Our team of dedicated GEDSI advisers work closely with our staff and partners to ensure a context-specific and consistent approach is applied to all our programmes to improve the livelihoods of the world’s most marginalised groups.
Advertised: 23 Jan 2019 Central Pacific Standard Time
Applications close: 04 Feb 2019 (5:00 PM) Central Pacific Standard Time

The Power of Sport and Diplomacy -- February 5th at New York University

Lindsay Krasnoff's picture


Dear Colleagues,
Please join us for our upcoming February 5th event, "The Power of Sport and Diplomacy" at New York University. Online program and registration are here.
We've also added to Roundtable 1 "The Power of Communications in Global Sport" Chris Dial, President of The Basketball Embassy, and Allen Hershkowitz, Founding President of Sport & Sustainability International, who will provide the keynote on "Sport in the Service of Humanity: Do More."
NYU is honoring alumni and student rates for any university alumni or students via codes NYUPOSDALUMNI and NYUPOSDSTUDENT.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019
8:30 a.m. – Noon
NYU Kimmel Center for University Life,
60 Washington Square South • Eisner and Lubin Auditorium
New York, NY

presented by
supported by
General Admission: $149 • NYU Alumni: $75 • Students: $25

In today's global sports world, the intersection of sport and diplomacy has become an everyday phenomenon. Sport has immense power, but it serves the greatest purpose when it is used to unify peoples across cultures and communities in order to better understand each other–an outcome that diplomacy also seeks to achieve.
Join us for a morning of deep discussion regarding the different approaches to global sport leadership and the use of sport as a key element of soft power/public diplomacy.[JB emphasis]. Two informative roundtables will be anchored by an enlightening keynote address.
Vince Gennaro, Associate Dean and Clinical Associate Professor
NYUSPS Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport
Sylvère-Henry Cissé, Chairman, Sport & Démocratie
As the world of sports continues to globalize, the role of communications, including Internet and social media, has become ever-more important and powerful in helping to bridge cultural divides. It has served to unify fans, players, and/or officials in new ways across geographic boundaries. The fight for more equitable—if not equal—pay in womens' sports, and advocating for greater social justice, are just two examples of the ways in which global communications are transforming our sports realities, as are the people-to-people cultural exchanges that occur daily as athletes, staff, and fans interact with each other. They illustrate how events and actions in one country, influence discourse and actions in others through global sport.
Dr. Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff, Author, The Making of Les Bleus, and Consultant, Sport & Démocratie; Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS
Sam Marchiano, Award-winning Sports Journalist; Adjunct Instructor,
NYUSPS Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport
Grant Wahl, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated; Host, Planet Fútbol Podcast, Planet Fútbol TV Show on SI TV; Fox Sports TV Contributor

Mega events such as the Olympic Games and the World Cup present unique opportunities for sports diplomacy on a global stage. This roundtable will explore how sport, high-profile athletes, and institutions function as non-state actors in diplomacy. It also will explore how sport plays a major role in attracting visitors, showcasing the country’s international outreach, and achieving what diplomacy has not.
Dr. Hakim Zermouni, Author, Smart Power in Barack Obama’s Foreign Policy, Sport & Démocratie
Youcef Ouldyassia, Founder and CEO of YOUNOMA Prod; Former Professional Basketball Player; Producer-Director; TV Journalist/Consultant on an NBA Show, Sport & Démocratie
Jérémie Bréchet, Former French International Football Player
Sport & Démocratie
Amadou Gallo Fall, Vice President and Managing Director, Africa,
National Basketball Association
Cameron Myler, Clinical Assistant Professor, NYUSPS Preston Robert Tisch Institute for Global Sport, Arbitrator; Lawyer and Four-Time Olympian
Dr. J. Simon Rofe, Global Diplomacy Programme Director and Reader in Diplomatic and International Studies; Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS University of London

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Another milestone in California's decline -- The LA teacher strike

Christian Whiton, Fox News

image from
Christian Whiton [JB - see] was a senior advisor in the Donald Trump and George W. Bush administrations. He is a senior fellow for strategy and public diplomacy [JB emphasis] at the Center for the National Interest and the author of “Smart Power: Between Diplomacy and War.”

Public Diplomacy Disrupted: Six Imperatives for Practicing Soft Power

Jian (Jay) Wang,

uncaptioned image from article

Public diplomacy [JB emphasis] encompasses a range of ways for nations to engage with their foreign publics in search of improved understanding and desired relationships. It creates soft power, an indispensable currency in contemporary global affairs.
But profound and influential societal changes are disrupting public diplomacy. As the practice is essentially a set of communication-centric activities, we see several overarching transformative, interwoven trends along every key aspect of the enterprise.
First and foremost, the broader geo-political and geo-economic context for communication on the global stage is changing. On the one hand, the rise of China and other major emerging economies are engendering tectonic power shifts in world affairs. On the other, there is sharpening domestic discord, especially in the West, on the nature and extent of a nation’s global engagement and commitment. In the meantime, according to a 2017 McKinsey report, global economic growth in the coming decade will mainly come from regional markets, including India, China, Africa, and Southeast Asia (ICASA). So uncertainties abound as the global political and economic order evolves.

The disruptions are so sweeping that there is no existing playbook to guide the practice.

Likewise, the audiences for public diplomacy are also changing. Much of the change is a result of basic demographic shifts, from population ageing in developed economies to youth bulge in developing countries. The overall audience is becoming more urban, and the population mix in many Western nations is undergoing ethnic re-mapping due to massive migration. We now have more people than ever in human history joining the global middle class, and they turn to digital platforms for news and information, and social interaction. We also face an impassioned public at home and abroad. In this respect, what’s old is new again. The rising populist fervor in many parts of the world is only the latest manifestation of the tensions between the two fundamental human forces of interests and passions in social decision and human action.
Admittedly, digital technology is transforming the tools and platforms for public diplomacy. Digitalization and advanced analytics are changing the way people seek information and stay connected; AI and automation are revolutionizing communication placements with precise targeting. The acceleration of digital technology has dissolved the boundaries between domestic and abroad, making the interaction of national concerns and international engagement ever more dynamic and interdependent.
Another important aspect of the disruption is that the stakeholder communities on the global scene have broadened. Non-state actors and diverse institutions, such as cities, multinational businesses and civil society organizations, are increasingly engaged in confronting local and global challenges. Not only have these stakeholder communities for public diplomacy expanded, but they are also empowered by digital technology.
In short, these conditions and dynamics point to the basic reality of growing diplomatic fluidity and a fast-changing communication landscape for public diplomacy. Indeed, the disruptions are so sweeping that there is no existing playbook to guide the practice. And they compel us to rethink the key components of the practice in at least the following six areas.

1. Making public diplomacy more strategic through a deeper understanding of “theory of change”

While the digital space provides us with voluminous observational data in terms of people’s online behavior, the bigger challenge is to develop a firm grasp on the psychological underpinnings of communication behavior in this networked environment, including motivations, incentives and preferences for communication. To design effective public diplomacy programs, it becomes ever more important to delve deeper into the underlying logic of communication given the sprawling complexity of the information eco-system.

2. Striking a balance between the digital and the physical

As one’s digital life interacts ever more with the physical realm in this tech-dominated environment, we need to not only build a distinct digital voice and digital identity in public diplomacy efforts, but also to maintain the human touch through direct person-to-person contact. After all, physical presence represents a more elemental form of communication and a transcultural human condition.

3. Communicating across platforms with authenticity and directness

Contemporary public diplomacy demands communication approaches on a range of platforms that are compelling in content, style and placement. In this age of information abundance and mobility, communication attributes, such as transparency, authenticity, exclusivity and convenience, are elevated to greater prominence.

4. Taking a network view

Nowadays, individuals and organizations can easily develop horizontal or vertical networks of interactions, with the potential to reach a large and even a global audience. Focusing on relationships rather than merely messages, a network approach allows us to see a nation’s position in its operational environment, and to identify and mobilize key influencers both online and offline to achieve scaled and sustained impact.

5. Driving toward performance and accountability

We need to put a stronger emphasis on accountability in public diplomacy efforts; that is, defining and assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of programs and activities. For any organized practice, it is crucial to develop credible and efficient means to capture and evaluate impact that will help inform strategic planning and operational innovation.

6. Investing in public diplomacy reskilling and upskilling

Capacity building is essential to advancing public diplomacy, especially in key functional areas, including visual and social storytelling, integrative community management, information architecture, and analytics and impact. The skills and capabilities required for effective global engagement need to be constantly reexamined and refreshed based on the evolving assessment of current and future practices.
The fundamental impact of globalization, societal changes and digital technology is reshaping the practice of public diplomacy. The communication task that underlies public diplomacy work is getting far more challenging. While much is uncertain and unsettled, we lay out these six areas to underscore the importance of reconfiguring our framework and to inspire new thinking and experimentation for practicing soft power.