Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication

About the Institute

The Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication engages in a variety of activities, including sponsoring major conferences as well as more intimate panels, research talks, and workshops; hosting leading scholars and practitioners including several Undersecretaries of State; and offering training for NGOs, embassies, and others.

IPDGC is generously supported by the Walter Roberts Endowment.

The Institute is a leader in research, practice, training, and innovative thinking in the areas of global communication and public diplomacy. Although IPDGC's interests include a wide array of issues related to the study and practice of global communication and public diplomacy, it has five core areas of focus:

  • New Media, Security, and Public Diplomacy
  • The Role of Women and Gender in Security, Communication, and Diplomacy
  • 21st Century U.S. Foreign Policy Priorities, such as China, Iran, and Africa
  • "Whole of Government," Interagency Challenges, especially in the areas of Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication
  • Global Perspectives and Approaches to Public Diplomacy

The Institute is supported by both the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and the Elliott School of International Affairs at GW. The Institute is also associated with the Global Communication Master's Program, a joint effort between CCAS's School of Media and Public Affairs and the Elliott School of International Affairs.

The Institute has been fortunate to have a close relationship with the U.S. State Department, embodied most directly in the appointment of a senior Foreign Service officer to serve as IPDGC's Senior Public Diplomacy Fellow.

Sean Aday, Director

Sean Aday

Sean Aday joined The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs in 2000, after completing his Ph.D. and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. His work focuses on the intersection of the press, politics, and public opinion, especially in relation to war and foreign policy. He has published widely on subjects ranging from the effects of watching local television news to coverage of American politics to media coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been involved in media and government capacity training projects globally, including in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Aday currently serves as the Director of GW's Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication and directs the Global Communication Master's Program. As part of a National Science Foundation grant, he, along with two colleagues, conducted a series of surveys about Americans' attitudes about government and media following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Aday was also the principle investigator for DC Student Voices, a curriculum-based project in Washington DC high schools that aimed to get students more involved in politics. He has been a frequent commentator in the press on news coverage of elections, crime, and war.

Before entering academia, Aday served as a general assignment reporter for the Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO, the Milwaukee Journal in Milwaukee, WI, and the Greenville News, Greenville, SC. He graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1990.

Contact Sean Aday


Twitter: @adaystew

phone: (202) 994-4220

office: 805 21st Street NW, Room 508A

office hours: Wednesday 12:30 - 2 p.m.


Phillip J. Crowley, Senior Public Diplomacy Fellow

Phillip J. Crowley

Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley is the Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at Dickinson College, the Penn State Dickinson School of Law and School of International Affairs, and the Army War College. P.J. is also a fellow at the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication within the School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University.

He appears frequently as a national security commentator on global television networks, including as a contributor to Al Jazeera English and the BBC. He is also a regular columnist for The Daily Beast.

P.J. was nominated by President Obama as the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs in 2009 and confirmed by the United States Senate. He served as the Assistant Secretary and Spokesman at the Department of State until March 2011. He was the primary U.S. government interlocutor with major media regarding the release of classified diplomatic cables by Wikileaks.

Before joining the Obama administration, P.J. was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, with a particular focus on homeland security in the aftermath of 9/11. He authored several national security studies, including Safe at Home, a detailed homeland security strategy to protect the American homeland, improve national preparedness and rebuild U.S. standing in the world. He remains engaged on these issues as a participant in the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group.

Contact PJ Crowley


Twitter: @PJCrowley

phone: (202) 994-6365

office: 805 21st Street NW, Room 508B

office hours: Tues.-Thurs., 10am - 2pm


Jonathan Henick, Public Diplomacy Fellow

Jonathan HenickJonathan Henick is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service currently serving at IPDGC as a Public Diplomacy Fellow. He will be teaching courses in the Spring 2014 semester at GW.

Previously, Henick served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in Timor-Leste and held posts in Azerbaijan, Turkey, Portugal, and Uzbekistan. In 2008, Henick received the Award for Achievement in Public Diplomacy from the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association and four Super Honor Awards from the State Department. He speaks Russian, Portuguese, Turkish, and Azerbaijani and holds a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University.


Contact Jonathan Henick


Twitter: @JonathanHenick

phone: (202) 994-6378

office: 805 21st Street NW, Room 507B

office hours: Tues. & Thurs., 11-2pm or by appointment

Lola Pak, Program Assistant

Lola PakLola Pak is program assistant for IPDGC and a student in GW's Master of Arts Global Communication program. Originally from Atlanta, she worked in online marketing and communication before moving to Washington to pursue her interest in public diplomacy. She speaks three languages - English, Korean, French - and hopes to pursue a lifelong career assisting international organizations with digital media needs.



Contact Lola Pak


Twitter: @IPDGC

phone: (202) 994-8137

office: 805 21st Street NW, Room 507A


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Phone: 202.994.8137
Fax: 202.994.5806

The Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication
805 21st St NW, Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20052