Monday, October 22, 2012

PCDF Launch at AU

Last Wednesday, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine attended the launch of the Public and Cultural Diplomacy Forum (PCDF) at the American University. Her remarks centered on the issue of collaboration in public diplomacy, especially between the public and private sectors. You can read the full text here.

It was a great honor for PCDF to host the Under Secretary at the School of International Service, and we are certainly looking forward to many more exciting events and research projects. Still very much in the making, PCDF will provide a more organized space and forum for bringing together students, professors, and guests interested in public and cultural diplomacy at the American University.

Having been here for more than three years now, it is, indeed, exciting and inspiring to see the growing interest in and attention to the subject, among the current and incoming students, professors, as well as the administration. PCDF is one of the most recent and telling examples of that. You can read our blog and follow us on Twitter @TheDiplomatist. Comments and suggestions are welcome, as always.

Since I've been too busy to be blogging regularly this semester (which I am very, very sorry about...), I'll be reposting some of my blog posts here, on Global Chaos. Here's the first one:

The Domestic Importance of Public Diplomacy

Earlier this week, speaking at a USIP event on "Exchange 2.0" and virtual diplomacy, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine reiterated, yet again, the importance of educational and cultural exchanges, both in person, as well as virtually through social media.
She referred to an earlier statement by her predecessor Judith McHale, as it seemed to capture an important point about public diplomacy for her, as well:
[...] working through government-to-government channels is no longer enough. If we want our people-to-people exchanges to remain central to our public diplomacy engagement, we have to open new channels. We have to communicate government to people, and people to people. And one of the best ways we can leverage those conversations is through social media and other connective technologies, such as video teleconferencing.
Of course, this is nothing new, and although the technology and various digital capabilities are evolving increasingly faster, providing unprecedented opportunities for new modes of exchange and interaction, the conversation on the topic seems to have outpaced the issue that lies at the core of any exchange that Americans will take part in: interest in and awareness about the world.

You can read the rest here.

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