The Impact of Public Diplomacy on National Security

with Evan Ryan

Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, brings decades of experience in communications, public engagement, and cultural exchange to this conversation on public diplomacy at GW. At the Elliott School of International Affairs, she discussed the role of public diplomacy in U.S. foreign policy and national security, as well as the importance of people-to-people international exchanges in building more secure, democratic, and prosperous societies.

About Evan Ryan

Evan Ryan is Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs. She assumed the position in 2013. In this capacity, she oversees a wide range of academic, cultural, private sector, professional, youth, and sports exchange programs to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries and promote peaceful relations. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs includes exchange programs that engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and emerging leaders in more than 160 countries and in the United States. 

From 2009 to 2013, Ms. Ryan served in the White House as Assistant to the Vice President and Special Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement.  In this role she served as the Vice President’s liaison to elected officials and constituency groups. Previously, Ms. Ryan was a Consultant for the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict. 

In 2005, Ms. Ryan was Deputy Chair for the Governance track of the Clinton Global Initiative. From 2003 to early 2004, she served as a Deputy Director of Communications for the John Kerry for President Campaign, and before that she was the Director of Scheduling for Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senatorial campaign. 

Ms. Ryan previously served in the White House from 1994-2000, including as Deputy Director of Scheduling for First Lady Hillary Clinton and as Special Assistant to the First Lady’s Chief of Staff.  Ms. Ryan served on the Board of Directors of Peace Players International from 2003 to 2008. She was a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations from 2008 to 2013.

Assistant Secretary Ryan, a Virginia native, holds a B.A. from Boston College and an M.I.P.P. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

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