Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication

The Last Three Feet: New Media, New Approaches, and New Challenges for Public Diplomacy


November 3, 2011

The Jack Morton Auditorium
The George Washington University

805 21st Street, NW / Washington, DC 20052

Two panels of veteran Public Diplomacy officers reflected on their experiences in explaining U.S. government policies and American society to audiences around the globe and also on lessons learned from these efforts in some of the world's most conflictive and complex societies.

Part one of the event discussed Image and Information in the Muslim World. The second half focuses on Global Youth Outreach.

Keynote speaker: Thomas Shannon, United States Ambassador to Brazil.

Watch online: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


Rachel Graaf Leslie, recently a Public Affairs Officer in Bahrain, spoke on the likely challenges of "Arab Spring" to current & future U.S. PD efforts across the region. 

Elizabeth McKay discussed Turkey's recent doubling of its budget for an experimental effort in new programming, largely in new media efforts, to engage young people in a country where polling data was lower than Palestine in terms of respect for USG policies.

Walter Douglas, recently a Public Affairs Officer in Pakistan. "How does one operate a full-fledged PD program in a war zone environment with an uneasy ally?"

Aaron Snipe - Public Diplomacy Officer in Iraq. He developed a website where Iraqis could listen to his interviews in Arabic of fellow Arabic-speaking officers from different sections which centered on the particular sections' services to Iraqi. 

Jean Manes, officer in Brazil. Discusssed 10 year-old exchange program aimed at 15-17 year old high schoolers in marginalized areas - a model is now copied in some form in 19 countries around the world.

Bea Camp is former the Consul General in Shanghai and spoke on successes and disappointments in mounting Shanghai Expo and the difficulties of operating a program in China where any one level of government (local, regional or national) can throw a monkey wrench into long agreed-upon projects.

Michael Anderson: setting up of high-tech American Center in Indonesia. Discussed the latest in technology and located in an upscale shopping mall. A new type of center, not only because it's all high tech.

Bruce Wharton, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Diplomacy in Africa Affairs Bureau; he talked on the skills newly minted PD officers need including being social entrepreneurs and tech savvy.


Sponsored by the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, Public Diplomacy Council, and the Walter Roberts Endowment

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