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Sep 17

The Obama Administration's Approach to Public Diplomacy

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Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

During his campaign then-Senator Obama made clear that public diplomacy would be a vital component of his Administration's foreign policy. Top officials at the State Department have echoed these sentiments, declaring public diplomacy to be a "national security imperative." The Administration's efforts to engage foreign publics directly is being referred to as "people to people" diplomacy and is purported to be an effective means for reshaping U.S. standing abroad. President Obama's initial efforts have focused on the people of the Middle East, as indicated by his remarks during his inaugural address, his first television interview with Al-Arabiya, and his recent speech in Cairo. The Administration has also stressed the need for the U.S. to enter into dialogue with the international community, accompanied by efforts to monitor and gauge foreign reaction to U.S. public diplomacy endeavors. Implementation of new communication platforms has also been suggested as part of these outreach initiatives. Nine months into the first year of the Obama Administration, our panelists will evaluate the effectiveness of its actions, messaging, and rhetoric.

More About the Speakers

Robert Reilly
Senior Fellow,
American Foreign Policy Council

Douglas J. Feith
Center for National Security, and Senior Fellow,
The Hudson Institute

Helle Dale
Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy,
The Heritage Foundation

Hosted By

James Dean James Dean

Manager, International and Diplomatic Programs Read More