Public Diplomacy Forum - USIA


November - December 1998

  • Reinventing Diplomacy in the Information Age
  • Advocacy of U.S. Interests Abroad
  • Oklahoma State University - Kazakstan        Teleconference on Distance Education
  • Angolan Youth Poster Artist Photo Story

  • Spotlight is PDForum's online journal of public diplomacy events, themes, policies and ideas. Readers of this site are welcome to contribute articles to Spotlight for online publication, or comment on the themes addressed here.  

    Former USIA Associate Director and career Foreign Service Officer Barry Fulton directed a study on "Reinventing Diplomacy in the Information Age," released in October 1998 under the auspices of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

    A group of distinguished national foreign-policy leaders have launched the "Project on the Advocacy of U.S. Interests Abroad" aimed at examining how the U.S. government is organized to conduct its foreign affairs in the twenty-first century.

    The President of Kazakstan participates in a November 17 electronic forum on distance education, connecting Kustenai State University in Kustenai, Kazakstan, with Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, half a world away.

    USIA participated in hosting a poster competition to highlight hope for the future in Angola. The student winner recently visited the Department of State to present his artwork

    "Reinventing Diplomacy in the Information Age"

    Former USIA Associate Director and career Foreign Service Officer Barry Fulton on October 26 directed a study on "Reinventing Diplomacy in the Information Age," under the auspices of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

    The opportunities for advancing the goals of American foreign policy are unprecedented. Yet, paradoxically, the United States is circumscribed by its failure to forge a new bipartisan foreign policy and by the growing gaps in its conduct of diplomacy—its diplomatic culture, technology, and relations with key constituents. The cable culture will inevitably give way to the evolving digital culture, yet if the changes are not accelerated, American diplomacy risks being rendered irrelevant.

    With the guidance of a 60-person Advisory Panel representing the public sector, media, academe, the NGO community, and the private sector, CSIS' International Communications Studies Program conducted an examination of America's diplomatic requirements with a focus on the information revolution, the widening participation of publics in international relations, and the concurrent revolutions in global business and finance. The purpose of the study was to effect a reinvention of the conduct of diplomacy.

    The final report, which reviews international dynamics and current performance gaps, recommends six substantive strategies for change including numerous concrete actions to be taken by the Department of State and other foreign affairs agencies.

    "The Advocacy of U.S. Interests Abroad"    

    A group of distinguished national foreign policy leaders recently concluded the Project on the Advocacy of U.S. Interests Abroad, aimed at examining how the U.S. government is organized to conduct its foreign affairs in the twenty-first century. Their report, entitled "Equipped for the Future: Managing U.S. Foreign Affairs in the 21st Century," was a privately funded effort, assessing the purposes of U.S. diplomacy in the post-Cold War world, exploring how best to organize the U.S. government and representation abroad to conduct U.S. foreign-affairs, and determining how to link resources effectively with the nation's foreign policy needs

    The project was affiliated with the independent, nonprofit Henry L. Stimson Center, a public policy institute committed to finding and promoting innovative solutions to the security challenges confronting the United States and other nations in the twenty-first century. John Schall, Executive Director of the Project, was joined by the following fourteen former senior government officials who served on the Project's Steering Committee: Frank Carlucci, Warren Christopher, Carla Hills, Max M. Kampelman, Ralph S. Larsen, Donald F. McHenry, Sam Nunn, Philip A. Odeen, Colin L. Powell, Condoleezza Rice, George P. Shultz, Robert S. Strauss, Cyrus Vance, John C. Whitehead.

    Oklahoma State University - Kazakstan
       Teleconference on Distance Education

    For the first time ever, on November 17, 1998, at approximately 3:00 a.m. CST, the School of Journalism and Broadcasting at Oklahoma State University will participate via Internet with Kazakstan in a teleconference to demonstrate the feasibility of Distance Education for the President of Kazakstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

    The Kazakstani President will personally participate at the sending site on the campus of Kustenai State University in Kustenai, Kazakstan, and members of the OSU School of Journalism and Broadcasting faculty and Kazakstani students at OSU will respond from Stillwater, Oklahoma, half a world apart.

    The teleconference has been organized by Mr. Valentin Lossev,one of 14 Kazakstani journalists and media managers selected in 1995 in a national competition to spend six weeks in a USIA sponsored grant with the OSU School of Journalism and Broadcasting in Stillwater, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Atlanta and Washington,D.C. Dr. Maureen Nemecek was the Principal Investigator for the grant.

    Lossev continued his work with the independent broadcasting company, Interstan. He has also worked as a correspondent for Khabar, and is presently the public information coordinator for Kustenai Oblast.

    Lossev organized a meeting in 1996 between Nemecek and Professor Jack Hodgson of the OSU journalism faculty and the Rector of Kustenai State University, Zulkharnai Aldamzharovich Aldamzharov, and the Dean of the newly organized journalism faculty at KSU. Nemecek and Hodgson,representing Dean Smith Holt of the College of Arts and Sciences, signed a memorandum of agreement with Kustenai State to seek funding to support further exchanges and to explore the uses of distance education between KSU and OSU.

    Holt received a College and University Affiliations Program grant from USIA in 1994 which funded exchanges in political science and journalism with Kazak State University in Almaty.

    Other sites included in the teleconference are Kostenai Agriculture Institute and Rudny Institute of Industry and Technology. Lossev said that enabling the President to "meeet in virtual space with students and professors in other institutes is an innovation for us. It can open new chances for developing educational programs. The practice of Internet video conferences has never been in our region till now."

    The government of Kazakstan provided funding for new equipment, and Kazaktelcom has created a 128kpbs line connecting the Internet server Kaznet in Almaty via cable.

    Hodgson and the computer specialists at OSU have been working on the test connections with the sending site. The actual transmission time depends on President Nazarbayev's schdule.


    Angolan Youth Poster Artist...

    An 11-year-old Angolan boy who won a poster contest exploring the effects of his nation's 30-year civil war on children presented his winning art work to Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Susan Rice October 14.

    Espirito "Pito" dos Santos Bandeira Celestino told Rice during a ceremony in her State Department office that he "wanted to express his country's need for reconstruction" through his drawing.

    Pito's picture of a house with floating walls competed with efforts by hundreds of other children in 10 Angolan schools in a poster contest on the theme "How I See the Future of Angola." The competition was conceived by the U.S. Information Service (USIS) center in Luanda and co-sponsored by the Angolan Ministry of Education, Texaco, and the Christian Children's Fund.

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    Spotlight back issues

    September-October 1998
    "A Day in the Life of a Foreign Service Officer"
    "USIA Jazz Ambassadors"

    July-August 1998
    "Public Diplomacy as a Second Career"
    "Undertaking a Public Diplomacy Career"
    "Presidential Public Diplomacy in China"

    June 1998
    "Building Peace in Cyprus"
    "Sound of Global Change"

    May 1998
    "Conflict Reporting in West Africa"
    "Public Diplomacy in the Iraq Crisis"

    April 1998
    "Free Market Tough for TV in Kyrgyzstan"

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