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As this year draws to a close, IPDGC would like to recap some of our activities of the Fall semester. We hope that you’ve had the opportunity to attend some of the events:

Your Country, Our War: The Press and Diplomacy in Afghanistan, September 25.

Asia Centre: Fake News Legislation in Southeast Asia, October 17.

Work-Life Balance in a 24/7 Organization panel, November 7.

Please do support IPDGC in the year ahead!

Mark your calendars for the 2020 Walter Roberts Lecture featuring Joseph S. Nye. The talk will be on “Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy”, to be held on Thursday, January 30, 2020, at the GW Elliott School of International Affairs.

More information HERE.

Dear Friend,

Thirteen years ago, the Walter Roberts Endowment was established with generous contributions from Dr. Roberts and the Roberts family. The Endowment was to ensure continued support for public diplomacy through higher learning and research, recognition of leadership and shared best PD practices.

The Endowment has assisted in funding activities of the Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication (IPDGC) at the George Washington University.

The Annual Walter Roberts Lecture for 2020 will feature Dr. Joseph S. Nye, who, 30 years ago, originated the term “soft power” in describing the persuasive approach in U.S. foreign policy. The Lecture will be held on January 30, 2020, at the Elliott School for International Affairs.

The Endowment continues to support IPDGC’s Walter Roberts Award for Congressional Leadership in Public Diplomacy, which honors members of Congress who have been consistently supportive of public diplomacy throughout their careers. These awards support public diplomacy micro-projects in institutions situated in the member’s state or congressional district.

The Endowment also encourages GW graduate students to excel in public diplomacy studies. Hence, to move ahead, we are trying to increase the size of the Endowment to allow us to provide grants to graduate students who could not otherwise afford to study public diplomacy at GW.

We encourage you to join with the Roberts family in continuing to support the vital public diplomacy outreach work that the Endowment underwrites.

The Walter Roberts Endowment will hold its 2020 Annual Lecture on Thursday, January 30, 2020, at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Washington, D.C. The speaker will be renowed political scientist Joseph S. Nye, Jr. who will be speaking on "Do Morals Matter? Presidents and Foreign Policy”. Nye is one of the world's leading scholars on international relations and the person responsible for introducing the term "soft power" to describe the persuasive approach in foreign policy.

Nye's latest book takes a look at past U.S. presidents to the current, and evaluates their leadership in U.S. foreign policy based on ethical dimensions. The 2020 Walter Roberts Annual Lecture will also celebrate the 30th anniversary of "Soft Power".

More information to come.

The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World

Dr. Robert Kagan, a noted historian, editorial writer, and think-tank analyst, was the Walter Roberts Annual Lecture speaker for 2019. Dr. Kagan spoke from topics in his latest book, The Jungle Grows Back, America and our Imperiled World; about America's global engagement and how isolationism will only create new security threats.  Dr. Kagan also emphasized the importance of global communication, now more than ever.  The audience had a range of questions about America, politics and foreign relations for our 2019 WRE annual lecture speaker.

The conversation was moderated by David Ensor, Director of the Project for Media and National Security.


The United States, in effect, interrupted large forces of history that were driving the world in a certain direction. Where they (the U.S.) were driving the world was where it was going in 1939, in 1940, in 1941. The United States interrupted that history; set history off on a different course… but those powerful forces of history are still there and are ready to come back if the United States stops playing that role - Robert Kagan, 2019 Walter Roberts Annual Lecture.

Public Diplomacy in an Era of Truth Decay: Constructive Responses

Tara Sonenshine, Amb. Bruce Wharton, Thomas Miller and IPDGC Director Janet Steele.


The Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication's keynote speaker this year is Ambassador Bruce Wharton, who will be presented his lecture on "Public Diplomacy in an Era of Truth Decay: Constructive Responses."

Amb. D. Bruce Wharton (ret.) served as an officer in the Foreign Service of the United States from 1985 to 2017. His career included assignments in Latin America, Africa, and here in Washington, D.C., and short-term work in Europe and Asia. In his last assignment, he was the acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. In this role, he provided global strategic leadership for all Department of State public diplomacy and public affairs engagement and oversaw the bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs, International Information Programs, Public Affairs and the Global Engagement Center.


(Excerpt from GW School of Media and Public Affairs event announcement.)

LIVE NOW: Public Diplomacy in an Era of Truth Decay.Speaker: Ambassador (ret) Bruce Wharton, former Acting U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public AffairsFollowed by a discussion moderated by Tara Sonenshine, former U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

Posted by Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication on Thursday, March 1, 2018

Explaining Our New Cold War with Russia: Can Trump End It?

Three people standing in front of George Washington University step-repeat backdrop
David Ensor, Amb. Michael McFaul and IPDGC Director Janet Steele

(excerpt from GW Today, March 6, 2017)

By Kristen Mitchell

Former U. S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul on Friday called the current state of affairs between the United States and Russia one of the most confrontational moments between the two world powers since some periods during the Cold War.

“You have to go deep into the Cold War to remember a time like where we’re at today,” he said at Jack Morton Auditorium.

Amb. McFaul, a Stanford University professor who served as ambassador under President Barack Obama from January 2012 to February 2014, presented a lecture titled “Explaining Our New Cold War with Russia: Can Trump End It?” The talk was part of George Washington University’s annual Walter Roberts Lecture series.

Read the full article of the event HERE.

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