Public Diplomacy Forum - USIA The Rostrum

Discussion of public diplomacy - issues, events, and activities engaging peoples across cultures. Please join in, send your comments, continue the dialogue.

Bookmark this site!
Updated July 1999

Public diplomacy promotes U.S. national security, economic and other interests by seeking to understand, inform and influence foreign publics and policy makers and by broadening the dialogue between American citizens and institutions and their counterparts abroad.

Issues Looking Ahead
Greek columns graphic
Latest Additions          
National Security
Economic Prosperity
Law Enforcement
Foundation of Trust
Free Flow of Information
America's Edge
New Age Structure
Diplomats of the Future
Diplomacy & the Internet
Global Opinion



Latest Additions

Comments on issues posted or received by PDForum:

"The visit has been also rewarding to me as I had the chance to transfer technology to Morocco, learn about scientists and students in the University of Ibnou Zohr, and experience this wonderful culture and heritage. I thank the Fulbright for making all this possible."
American journalist Elizabeth Pond lectured recently in Sofia, on "The Transatlantic Community." Ms. Pond emphasized the deep ties that bind the US and Europe, despite occasional quarrels over bananas.
"Corruption: An Impediment to Development," a printed version of the popular USIA "Economic Perspectives" electronic journal of the same name was prepared earlier this year in support of Vice President Gore's "Global Forum on Fighting Corruption: Safeguarding Integrity Among Justice and Security Officials."
Stanford Student Examines American Foreign Policy Toward Cuba
" What about the rest of the world, where inequalities are much worse and where a socialist revolution such as the type Castro brought to Cuba is what the people most want? Do we, as THE world power, have the right to continually deny them from trying out such a system of government because we need stability and free capitalist systems with whicht to deal? Can we not grant a political system, be it socialist or communist or whatever, the freedom to fail in its own right without subversively undermining its chances from the very start? If we are so sure that such systems don't work, why not simply 'let them jump' and find out for themselves? At least we wouldn't earn the enmity of that country's people while so doing."
State Department Releases Annual Report on "Patterns of Global Terrorism"
"The United States is engaged in a long-term effort against international terrorism to protect lives and hold terrorists accountable. We will use the full range of tools at our disposal, including diplomacy backed by the use of force when necessary, as well as law enforcement and economic measures."
USIA Programs in Support of National Security
USIA public diplomacy activity in support of national security issues includes recent and ongoing programs on Kosovo, NATO's 50th Anniversary, and disarmament.
Publicizing of American Good Will Urged
Publicize opportunities for compassionate Americans to involve themselves so that it will be possible for Mr. Milosovich to understand that in the United States there are not only consumers with deep pockets, but people of deep hearts and of conscience who will arm themselves with all humanitarian means to hobble the evil that his behavior produces.
American Spirit of Generosity in Refugee Crisis
I wish to share my house with a few refugees.
Belgian Urges More Attention to Democracy, Less to Financial Gain
I think it would be a good idea for U.S. to find people in Europe in order to explain very simply to ordinary people the targets of your politic, because a lot of people do confusion between your financial interest, and your aspiration to better democracy.
US-German Congressional Youth Exchange
I wanted to take the time to share my experience of Germany supported by the Congress-Bundestag Exchange Program for Young Professionals!
USIA Fulbright Scholar in Mexico
"Las Capuchinas" is a small convent, or at least the part I was allowed to visit. The small patio designed by Barrag_n is one of the most moving, spiritual spaces I have ever experienced.
Serbian student writes about bombing
All hell has broken loose. I still cannot get used to the bombs flying overhead. I keep telling everyone they are not aimed at us,but I am no longer sure of that myself. Most of my friends are in hiding from the bombs,as well as from draft commitees who could drag them into a war no one can possibly win. I can`t even go to a shelter because pets aren`t allowed. How can I leave my dog behind?
USIA Fulbright Scholar in Ghana
The reason why I am writing about all this is that I have found a new term for the unexpected expectations of life. I call them "the chickens of reality." I don't really resent a chicken as if it were an unavoidable obligation. Joseph and Julie would have let me get away with just bringing a frozen bird, and they would have been very polite about it. But I want to get the chicken for them, even though it's a bit more than I thought I was getting into at first and a little intimidating. But I can do it. I'm just glad I don't have to catch the chicken -- I just don't have that much competence. I tried to catch a chicken once so I could draw feathers, and I just ended up chasing them clumsily and looking foolish. And they were very contented and mellow birds, not any wild, untamed, foaming-at-the-mouth market chickens. So the "chickens of reality" are a challenge. But at least now I have a name for them.
USIA Fulbright Scholar in Finland
Terve Huittisista! (Hello from Huittinen!) I went to Säkylä last night to do the sauna and jumping in the lake thing. I didn't know if I would have the nerve to jump in the water, but I didn't want to seem like a wimp so I did it. I guess the water was zero celsius because the ice had to be broken away so there was a place to go into the water. People don't exactly jump into the water either, they walk down stairs into the lake. I noticed even the most hearty of them did not stay in the water very long.
USIA Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam
As far as we can tell, ours are the first western children, particularly American children, that most people ever have seen in person, let alone met. The children are growing used to being the object of stares.
USIA Fulbright Scholar in El Salvador
...enjoying the interchange with her Salvadoran colleagues. 'I am impressed with their dedication and high degree of professionalism. When I visited here ten years ago during the height of the war, my colleagues continued to provide library services to their students and patrons even when bombings would cut their electricity and cause untold difficulties.'
USIA Fulbright Scholar in London
Cheesey it may seem, I also gave him my State of Kansas lapel pin and told him to wear it the next time he saw Senator Roberts.
USIA Fulbright Scholar in China
I've been fortunate enough to present lectures for the Fulbright Speakers Program in Chinese cities as far north as Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia, and south as Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong Provice.
USIA Fulbright Scholar in Chile
I just got back from a spectacular 10-day backpacking trip to Torres del Paine national park in Chilean Patagonia!
USIA Fulbright Scholar in Austria
I am a doctoral student on a Fulbright Student Grant in Vienna, Austria. I am studying the neurophysiology of swallowing, specifically the role of the cerebral cortex in the motor planning of swallowing using electroencephalographic techniques.
USIA Fulbright Scholar in Israel
The science I am learning here will be useful for years to come. I am also helping this laboratory to gain approaches to questions of their interest. We will shortly form a consortium of about 5 laboratories and we will apply for NIH funding to continue our collaborative efforts.
USIA Fulbright Scholar in Finland
I am finding my Fulbright experience in Finland thus far interesting, exciting and enlightening. My colleagues here at the University of Tampere are helpful and encouraging.
USIA Fulbright Scholar in Ghana
After getting settled into Ghanaian life, which took a some time, I began to explore some of the shrines and proverbial imagery as well as the architectual symbolism associated with them.
Rostrum's National Security page updated
USIA contributions toward NATO's 50th Anniversary Summit and toward approval of the Kosovo Agreement highlighted.
Tibetan Monks Visit Wisconsin on World Peace Tour
A resident of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, write to express appreciation for cross-cultural experience of visiting with Tibetan monks.
Fulbright Scholar Program Alumni Honored in 1998
A number of individuals who achieved honors and prominence during the past year were alumni the Fulbright academic exchange program.
Comment here in the discussion area!


National Security

USIA engages foreign audiences in bilateral and multilateral dialogue to promote current American foreign policy goals of securing peace, deterring aggression, preventing, defusing, and managing crises, halting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, advancing arms control and disarmament.

Hot Issue:            Kosovo
Ongoing Issues:   Middle East Peace, Iraq, North Korea


USIA engages foreign audiences in bilateral and multilateral dialogue to encourage and support the establishment and consolidation of democracies, and the upholding of human rights.

Hot Issue:            Human Rights
Ongoing Issues:   Combat Trafficking in Women,  Torture

Economic Prosperity

USIA connects with leaders in public and private sectors overseas to promote U.S. foreign policy goals toward expanding exports, opening markets, assist American business, fostering sustainable economic growth.

Hot Issue:            Global Financial Crises
Ongoing Issues:   Development of Market Economies

Law Enforcement

USIA offers programs, information products, and exchange activities designed to support foreign policy goals of combatting international terrorism, crime and narcotics trafficking.

Hot Issues:           Terrorism; Drug Trafficking

Foundation of Trust

USIA interacts with opinion leaders in different sectors of overseas communities to establish a network of international cooperation that sustains and promotes current and future U.S. interests.

Ongoing Issues:    Promotion of Institutional Linkages through Exchanges, American Studies

Free Flow of Information

USIA conducts programs and actitivites overseas designed to create an open international information environment that encourages the widest possible exchange of ideas and fosters an understanding of U.S. policies and institutions.
Hot Issues:           "Y2K" - Year 2000 Conversion
Ongoing Issues:    Universal Internet Access;  Freedom of Speech

Looking Ahead

U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy:
1998 Recommendations for Publics & Diplomats in the Global Communications Age

People & Power -- America's Edge
"As we move from the Industrial to the Information Age, from the Cold War world to the global village, we have an extraordinary opportunity to advance our values at home and around the world." -- President Clinton

A New Structure for a New Age
"As the United States prepares to enter the new millennium, its methods of traditional diplomacy are becoming less effective. A major overhaul of our foreigh affairs agencies is overdue." -- Representative Benjamin A. Gilman, Chairman, Committee on International Relations, U.S. Congress

Developing the Diplomats of the Future
"We need a generation of young diplomats schooled in information diplomacy...we need diplomats who know the impact of the world, how it changes understanding among peoples and how it defines relationships between governments." -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

Diplomacy in the Age of the Internet
"Public Diplomacy -- using the most advanced tools of technology to explain American's principles and priorities to the world -- will become evermore vital to the conduct of U.S. foreign policy as we enter the 21st century." -- Vice President Gore

Global Public Opinion Research
"There are times the U.S. wants to deliver a specific message abroad. What is persuasive to us might seem illogical to foreigners. Polling can help craft a message that is logical and persuasive to foreign audiences." -- Geoffrey Garin, President, Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc.

Rostrum Discussion Area
General comments received by PDForum:

"There should be more international diplomacy. It seems the only time we send a diplomat anywhere is if we are in trouble or trying to get something. We want other nations to feel they can approach us at any given time because we are a friendly nation, but we can't expect them to feel comfortable doing that unless we set an example through our own actions that we really are receptive to their concerns, and can check and see how things are going with them without having an ulterior motive."
"I find this website interesting and educational. I am a college instructor in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines, handling social science subjects. One is foreign policy and diplomacy. Congratulations to the minds behind this site!"
"I am a former member of congress and a board member of the Dallas Council on World Affairs. This is a good source of information and I will use it often."
Comment here on the bulletin board!

About The Rostrum

The Rostrum (named for the speaker's platform in the ancient Roman forum) features comments to PDForum about public diplomacy and features on this site, as well as personal accounts of "citizen diplomacy."

Do you have an interesting story about dialogue between Americans and people of other countries? Send in your story to post on the Rostrum. If you see information on this website that you would like to respond to, or to debate another message, send us your comments and suggestions.

E-mail to: USIA is a foreign affairs agency whose purpose is to inform foreign citizens about America and its foreign policy. We regret that we are unable, therefore, to respond to general-information questions.

We welcome your comments on this website and the themes of Public Diplomacy Forum. Comments on PDForum's themes and content will be posted on this site under the appropriate thematic heading.


Homepage | Spotlight| Rostrum | PDNationwide | Citizen Diplomat Links