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, Fellow, Professor of Practice

Phillip J. Crowley

Philip J. (P.J.) Crowley is a Professor of Practice and Fellow at the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication at The George Washington University, where he currently teaches courses on public diplomacy and crisis communications. P.J. appears frequently as a national security commentator on national and global television networks. His opinion pieces have been published in a wide range of print and on-line outlets, including The Washington Post, The Guardian and the BBC. P.J. is also a member of the Board of Directors of Al Jazeera America.

He served as the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Spokesman for the U.S. Department of State between 2009 and 2011 under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and was the primary U.S. government interlocutor with major media regarding the impact of the release of classified diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks. He resigned from that position after making public comments critical of the government’s pre-trial treatment of Private First Class Bradley/Chelsea Manning. Atlantic Magazine named him as one of 21 Brave Thinkers in 2011.

After leaving the State Department, P.J. held the 2011-2012 Omar Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law and School of Public Affairs, Dickinson College and the Army War College. While there, he authored The Rise of Transparency and Decline of Secrecy in the Age of Global and Social Media for the Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs.

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 the 9/11 attacks. He authored a number of detailed analyses on security issues, including Safe at Home, a national security strategy to protect the American homeland, improve national preparedness and rebuild the U.S. standing in the world. He remains engaged on these issues as a member of the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group. His most recent analysis in this area is Homeland Security and the Post-9/11 Era, published by the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

P.J. is a retired Air Force colonel and is a veteran of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991. He served on the National Security Council staff at the White House as a special assistant to President Clinton and deputy press secretary. He deployed to NATO Headquarters in Brussels during the 1999 Kosovo crisis to support then NATO Secretary General Javier Solana, helping to develop a strategic communication capability in support of the NATO campaign.

P.J. and his spouse, Paula Kougeas, also a retired Air Force colonel, have formed a strategic communication firm, Crowley Global Communications, LLC. They have two children and reside in Alexandria, Virginia.

Contact PJ Crowley


Twitter: @PJCrowley

phone: (202) 994-6365

office: 805 21st Street NW, Room 508B

office hours: TBD


Patricia Kabra, Public Diplomacy Fellow

KabraPatricia Kabra is a Senior Foreign Service Officer with 20 years of service in the Middle East and the Department of State in Washington, D.C. She has been posted overseas as a Public Diplomacy Officer in Damascus, Jerusalem, Doha, Tunis and Cairo. In Washington, she served as Deputy Director for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in the near Eastern Affairs Bureau at the Department of State. Throughout her career, she has managed strategy for public diplomacy and public affairs, including press activities; strategic messaging; cultural and educational exchanges; projects and grants. Her most recent position before joining IPDGC as a Public Diplomacy Fellow for the 2014-15 academic year was at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo where she served as the Public Affairs Counselor.

In addition to government service, Dr. Kabra previously taught History, Philosophy, Humanities, Sociology, English, and Islamic Studies to undergraduate students at Woodbury University in Burbank, Calif. and the Los Angeles Community College system.

Patricia Kabra holds a Ph.D from the University of California Los Angeles in the History of the Middle East; an M.A. from Pennsylvania State University in the History of the Middle East and Africa; and B.A. from Penn State in Philosophy and Fine Arts. She speaks fluent Arabic and French. 


Contact Patricia Kabra


phone: (202) 994-6378

office: 805 21st Street NW, Room 507B

office hours: TBD

Lola Pak, Program Assistant

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



Contact Lola Pak


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