Public Diplomacy

Richard Stengel, Managing Editor of Time magazine, is likely to be nominated to succeed Tara Sonenshine as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, various news sources including the New York Times and Politico report.

In a video message last week, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. will join the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which will help protect the rights of disabled Americans abroad.

According to Secretary Kerry:

In an address to the 2013 Class of Fulbright-Clinton Fellows, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton honored the legacy of Senator William J. Fulbright and stressed the importance of people-to-people connections in international relations.

Clinton said:

Nineteen months after its Congressional authorization lapsed [the Alliance reported], the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD) has officially been reinstated, according to an email announcement by Katherine Brown, the Commission’s new Executive Director.

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In a Senate confirmation hearing this afternoon (July 30), Evan Ryan, President Obama’s nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), said that exchanges “capitalize on American strengths and appeals,” and that ECA is “the lifeblood of public diplomacy”.

Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ryan underlined the powerful role people-to-people exchanges play in advancing U.S. public diplomacy and foreign policy goals.

A loss of cultural and educational exchanges is an often-overlooked consequence of the political turmoil in Egypt, writes Tara Sonenshine, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, in a recent Al-Ahram Weekly article.

In response to an increased international demand for U.S. summer camps, many universities and school districts across the U.S. are “developing home-grown summer enrichment programs,” which target the rising middle class in countries such as China who “can send their children to experience American life – and possibly set the stage for going to college in the USA,” USA Today reports.

In a farewell note released last week, outgoing Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Tara Sonenshine emphasized her view that the importance of public diplomacy lies in its ability to “create a safer and more prosperous world for Americans at home and abroad by helping citizens abroad build better futures.”

In a video message recorded for the 4th annual EducationUSA Forum held in Washington, DC June 26-28, Secretary of State John Kerry emphasized the importance of exchanges and the long term positive repercussions they have for the U.S. and its relationships with countries around the world.

The continued higher education dialogue between India and the U.S. has helped increase educational opportunities in India as well as people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, Secretary Kerry noted in his opening address at the 2013 Higher Education Dialogue in New Delhi earlier this week.

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