Public Diplomacy

The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy (ACPD) officially released yesterday its “2015 Comprehensive Annual Report on Public Diplomacy & International Broadcasting.” The report itemizes Department of State and Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) public diplomacy and international broadcasting activities, including Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) exchange programs.

The Russian government has decided to close the U.S. Embassy’s American Center at M. Rudomino All-Russia State Library of Foreign Literature in Moscow, according to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Fulbright University Vietnam (FUV) is set to enroll its first class of students “from around Asia and beyond” in fall 2016, according to PIE News. The University, which received partial funding for its establishment from the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), will be the first independent, non-profit, U.S.-affiliated university in Ho Chi Minh City. 

Exchanges will play “a unique and critical role” in the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations, Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan said in her opening remarks for a symposium at George Washington University on Wednesday.

American students return from study abroad more nationalistic, but feeling less threatened by their host countries compared to their peers who have not yet studied abroad, according to a study recently discussed in the Washington Post.

In response to political unrest in Yemen and concerns for their safety, a group of Yemeni exchange students have received a waiver to complete an additional year of studies in the U.S., according to a listing in the Federal Register last week. The students were participants in the Department of State’s Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program during the 2014-2015 academic year.

A warming in U.S.-Iran diplomatic relations, along with a potential nuclear agreement, may create new opportunities for academic exchanges and partnerships between the two countries, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education and the PIE News.

On a trip to Vietnam last week, Secretary of State John Kerry highlighted the importance of educational partnerships between the U.S. and Vietnam, and the role exchanges have played in the transformation of U.S.-Vietnamese relations.

During remarks delivered in Hanoi on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of normal diplomatic relations between the two countries, Secretary Kerry noted:

Meeting with 500 Mandela Washington Fellows earlier this week, President Obama praised the “incredible talent” of the fellows and the diplomacy value of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI):

“These connections, partnerships, and friendships forge an understanding that brings our peoples closer together.”

The YALI program is an opportunity to develop global leaders, Obama explained to the fellows:

In response to a request by a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) recently announced the formation of the Commission on Language Learning that will conduct the first national study on foreign language learning in more than 30 years, PR Newswire reports.

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