Thursday, September 24, 2009

New Approaches to U.S. Global Outreach -- Monday, October 5

Time to shift focus somewhat from what was a "golden moment" in U.S. public diplomacy, half-a-century ago at Sokolniki Park, to questions of the present and future. How can U.S. efforts to reach out to the world regain some of that luster?

George Washington University's Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication, in association with the GW Public Affairs Project and our friends and colleagues at the Public Diplomacy Council (PDC), are hosting a two-panel conference on Monday, October 5 at GW's Marvin Center under the heading "New Approaches to U.S. Global Outreach: Smart Power on the Front Lines of Public Diplomacy and Strategic Communication." The first panel, entitled "Engaging Global Publics in the Obama Era -- Can the Interagency Respond?" will bring together some notable figures in the field who are laying the groundwork for the Obama Adminstration's efforts, including Rosa Brooks, a Pentagon senior advisor charged with reviewing the Department of Defense's communication and information efforts overseas and Daniel Silverberg, from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who has been examining the issue of overlapping and conflicting USG authorities in America's public interface with the rest of the world. A second panel, entitled "Ground Truth -- How Civilian and Military Communicators Shape the Opinion Landscape," will feature diplomats and military officers fresh from countries where the U.S. faces some of its biggest PD and communication challenges, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. They will share their insights -- including successes and lessons learned.

More details on the conference are available here. Attendance is free, but space is limited. If you are interested in attending the "New Approaches" conference, please RSVP by email to

Meanwhile, the "New Approaches" conference is intended to set the stage for an even bigger event that evening at Lisner Auditorium: a joint appearance by Secretaries Clinton and Gates, for a dialogue on "smart power" and America's global role, moderated by CNN's Christiane Amanpour and Prof. Frank Sesno, Director of GW's School of Media and Public Affairs.

Much more to follow in the days ahead on what we believe will be a particularly stimulating day on campus at GW...

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