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On Friday, March 6, IPDGC was honored to be able to recognize the awardees of the 2020 Secretary of State International Women of Courage (IWOC) award at George Washington University.

Together with the Elliott School of International Affairs and the Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs (GEIA), IPDGC hosted the event which included a panel discussion with three of the 2020 IWOC awardees.

IPDGC Director Janet Steele warmly welcomed and introduced the 12 awardees to a room filled with students, faculty, and invited guests.

In her opening remarks, Dr. Steele explained that the IWOC award honors women around the globe who have exemplified exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality, women’s empowerment, and social progress, often at great personal risk and sacrifice. This is the only Department of State award that pays tribute to emerging women leaders worldwide.

She noted the IWOC awardees had inspiring stories to share, “(and) that I hope we can take away from meeting them today, is that none of them set out to be heroes – but when they saw that something was wrong, they stepped up, they acted, and they did what they could to bring about change”.

Following the official award ceremony and meetings in Washington, D.C., the IWOC awardees embark on an International Visitor Leadership Program to visit American organizations and businesses and collaborate with their leadership on strategies and ideas to empower women both in the United States and abroad.

Watch the event here:

Opening Remarks

IPDGC Director, Janet Steele, gives opening remarks at the 2020 IWOC event.

Panel

Panel with 2020 IWOC awardees.

IWOC awardee Amaya Coppens

Amaya Coppens from Nicaragua talking about her activism.

Roses for the IWOC attendees

IWOC recipient Amina Khoulani (Syria) giving her fellow awardees roses at the start of the event.

SUBMISSIONS CLOSED FOR 2020

Deadline Extended to Friday, March 6 (12pm ET)

Since 2011, the Walter Robert Endowment has awarded the Walter Roberts Public Diplomacy Studies Award to a graduating student from the Master’s programs at the GW Elliott School of International Affairs, for academic excellence and professional aspirations in public diplomacy. The Award is recognized at the Commencement ceremony of the Elliott School and offers a $1000 prize to the successful student.

Eligibility and application details:

Applicants must be enrolled as full-time second-year students in graduate programs at the Elliott School of International Affairs and have taken a PD class.

Applicants will have to provide:

1) A resume

2) A 500-word essay on your goals for pursuing further studies or careers based on your PD courses

3) A one-paragraph letter of support from a GWU professor

Deadline for submission is Monday, March 2 (9am ET)

The deadline has been extended to Friday, March 6 (12pm ET)

All submissions to be sent to ipdgc@gwu.edu with the subject line “PD Studies Award 2020”.

On Thursday, January 30, eminent scholar of international relations and political scientist Dr. Joseph S. Nye delivered the keynote address for the 2020 Walter Roberts Annual Lecture at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Relations. Dr. Nye spoke on the topic of his latest book, “Do Morals Matter: Presidents and Foreign Policy.”

The Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication (IPDGC) Director Janet Steele had noted in her introduction, “It is highly fitting that Professor Nye be the speaker at an annual lecture series that honors the memory of Walter R. Roberts... (who) throughout his 42-year career, was dedicated to the advancement of public diplomacy.”

In addressing the audience at the Walter Roberts Lecture, Nye suggested that they consider evaluating presidential decision-making along three ethical dimensions: intentions, means, and consequences. Nye spoke on how presidents, from World War II to the current day, were not fully constrained by the structure of the system and were able to consider choices for action – or non-action.

Hard power works pretty quickly. Soft power takes a long time – Joseph S. Nye

Later in a discussion moderated by Tara Sonenshine, former Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Nye fielded a variety of questions from the audience; ranging from the current U.S. global role to Russian soft diplomacy – “there’s not much of it.”

The Walter R. Roberts Endowment, which supports the Annual Lecture, was created by the Roberts family and housed at the George Washington University, has hosted annual lectures with prominent foreign policy figures since 2011.

The video of the 2020 Walter Roberts Annual Lecture will be shared on the IPDGC website soon. Please contact ipdgc@gwu.edu for more information.

On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication awarded Congresswoman Nita M.Lowey (NY-17) with the IPDGC Walter Roberts annual award for Congressional Leadership in Public Diplomacy.

In presenting Congresswoman Lowey with the award, IPDGC Director Janet Steele noted that “the award was created to highlight the importance of something that for many Americans is largely invisible.”

Rep. Lowey and IPDGC Director Janet Steele.

“As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey has been a tireless advocate for international education and exchanges. Her fostering of learning and indeed her commitment to education at all levels has helped the United States to put its best foot forward, to lead with our values, and to enhance our international leadership.”

In receiving the award, Congresswoman Lowey said, “I have long believed that our national security is strongest when development, diplomacy, and defense are all well-funded and equally prioritized. That is why I’ve served proudly in leadership roles related to foreign affairs. I thank the George Washington University Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication for honoring me and accept this award not for a job well done, but as a reminder of our shared and ongoing commitment to doing everything we can to build a better world for all.”

At the event to congratulate her was U.S. State Department Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce who said, “Chairwoman Lowey has been a champion for American leadership and diplomatic engagement around the world. Thank you, Madam Chair, for your enduring support of people-to-people exchange programs as a core element of our foreign policy.”

To accompany the Congresswoman’s award, the Walter Roberts Endowment presented a $5000 grant to Battery Dance of New York for public diplomacy outreach in her constituency.

Others at the intimate ceremony were National Public Radio President and CEO John Lansing, Voice of America’s News Center Director Yolanda López, Battery Dance Vice-President and COO Emad Salem, members of the Walter Roberts Endowment – Thomas Miller, Patricia Roberts and Shawn Powers, and even GW student Helen Jiang from Lowey’s constituency

Jiang who grew up in Scarsdale, NY, first met with Congresswoman Lowey on a 5th grade trip to the Capitol. This time, she was able chat with the Congresswoman, and share about her own public diplomacy effort – as a Peace Corps Education volunteer in China (photo on right).

The grant to Battery Dance will be use to organize dance workshops, panel discussions, and screenings of the short film, “Moving Stories” for youths and students at schools in Westchester and Rockland counties, NY.

All photos by Harrison Jones/ GW University

Lowey Receives Award For Congressional Leadership
In Public Diplomacy

 Congresswoman Honored by George Washington University Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication

 

WASHINGTON (Wednesday, January 15, 2020) – Today, U.S. Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, received the George Washington University’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication’s (IPDGC) annual Walter Roberts Award for Congressional Leadership in Public Diplomacy at a ceremony on Capitol Hill. To accompany the award, IPDGC announced that it is providing a grant from the Walter Roberts Endowment to New York’s Battery Dance. The grant will be used to support outreach programs at schools in Westchester and Rockland Counties, which Lowey represents in Congress.

Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, National Public Radio President and CEO John Lansing, Director of VOA’s News Center Yolanda López, and Battery Dance Vice-President and COO Emad Salem spoke at the event about the importance of American public diplomacy.

“In today’s interconnected world, our critically valuable diplomatic relationships, cultivated over years of engagement, are needed more now than perhaps ever before,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “I have long believed that our national security is strongest when development, diplomacy, and defense are all well-funded and equally prioritized. That is why I’ve served proudly in leadership roles related to foreign affairs. I thank the George Washington University Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication for honoring me and accept this award not for a job well done, but as a reminder of our shared and ongoing commitment to doing everything we can to build a better world for all.”

“The Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication created this award for congressional leadership in public diplomacy because we wanted to highlight the importance of something that for many Americans is largely invisible,” said Janet Steele, director of GW’s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication. “As Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, Congresswoman Lowey has been a tireless advocate for international education and exchanges. Her fostering of learning and indeed her commitment to education at all levels has helped the United States to put its best foot forward, to lead with our values, and to enhance our international leadership.”

Lowey was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1988 and is currently serving her sixteenth term in Congress, representing parts of Westchester and Rockland Counties. At the beginning of the 113th Congress, Congresswoman Lowey was selected by her colleagues to be the Ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee

Few members of Congress have taken key leadership roles on so many vital public policy issues. Lowey has led efforts to make our nation and families more secure by better equipping and training first responders as well as ensuring preparedness for pandemics like Ebola, Zika, and avian flu. She has worked to increase health care access and biomedical research and spearheaded the effort to more than double funding for breast cancer research. She has successfully fought efforts to cut funding for public broadcasting and supported fully funding the federal government’s commitment to education at all levels. Because she understands that instability abroad undermines security at home, she is a fierce advocate for increasing developmental assistance abroad on the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee.

Lowey served in the House Democratic Leadership in 2001 and 2002 as the first woman and first New Yorker to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Lowey was born in the Bronx; graduated from the Bronx High School of Science; and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Mount Holyoke College. She served as Assistant Secretary of State for the State of New York before being elected to Congress. Nita and Stephen Lowey have been married for almost 60 years and have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

The grant to Battery Dance will be used for dance workshops, panel discussions, and screenings of the film “Moving Stories” at schools in Westchester and Rockland counties.

 

For media information – contacts:

Jason Shevrin (GW) 202-994-5631.

Katelynn Thorpe (Rep. Lowey) at 202-225-6506.

Deborah Corrales (Battery Dance) at 212-219-3910.

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