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The Role of Voice of America & Values Journalism in Combating Propaganda and Violent Extremism

This year's Walter Roberts Annual lecture featured David Ensor, former Voice of America Director, in a conversation with Frank Sesno, Director of the GW School of Media and Public Affairs.

He spoke on American public diplomacy, and how Voice of America and the Radio Free programs help contribute to the successful communication with foreign publics.

As the former U.S. Ambassador to Syria from 2010 to 2014, Ambassador Robert S. Ford discussed the current crises in Syria and Iraq, the Obama Administration's strategy for fighting terrorism in the region, and the role of social media and digital diplomacy in the war against ISIS.

Since joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1985, he has been posted throughout the Middle East and Africa in Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, and Cameroon. From 2001 to 2004, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Bahrain and Political Counselor to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad from 2004-2006. Prior to Syria, he served in Algeria as the ambassador from 2006-2008. Currently, he is Senior Fellow at The Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.

The conversation was moderated by Frank Sesno, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs.

Beyond Benghazi: U.S. Public Diplomacy in Troubled Times with Thomas Pickering

Former Ambassador to the United Nations, Amb. Thomas Pickering discusses the public diplomacy challenges in a time of protest and upheaval, digital media, and emerging competitors to America's pre-eminence on the world stage, particularly in light of the incident in Benghazi, Libya.

With a diplomatic career spanning more than four decades, Amb. Pickering was also the co-chair of the panel which investigated the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. He is a career ambassador who has served in Russia, India, Israel, El Salvador, and beyond. In 2000, he retired from the State Department as the Under Secretary for Political Affairs.

Tara Sonenshine, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, introduced Amb. Pickering.

There was a lively exchange with the audience and also Amb. Pickering received well wishes as he was celebrating his birthday that day. Read the IPDGC Smart Power post for the tweet excitement from that event.

Moderating the session was Frank Sesno, Director of the GW School of Media and Public Affairs.

Click on video still below for the third WR Annual Lecture.

Public Diplomacy and Foreign Policy: The View from State

In 2013, the United States faces a wealth of public diplomacy challenges. American diplomats today must engage new publics, on new issues, using new foreign policy tools. At the second Walter Roberts Annual Lecture, Tara Sonenshine, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs engaged in a discussion regarding the modern challenges of U.S. public diplomacy. Moderating the event was Frank Sesno, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs, at the George Washington University.

The event transcript is HERE.

Global Challenges, Modern Solutions

Discussion with Brent Scowcroft

General Brent Scowcroft is the founder and president of The Forum for International Policy as well as the President of the Scowcroft Group, Inc. In this talk at the inaugural Walter Roberts Lecture Series, he discussed contemporary challenges in international affairs and policy formation and reflected on lessons learned from the end of the Cold War from the government's perspective.

 

Moderating the discussion is Frank Sesno, Director of the School of Media and Public Affairs, Professor of Media and Public Affairs and International Affairs.

 

The transcript is available HERE.

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