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Walter Roberts Annual Lecture

Since 2011, the Walter Roberts Endowment has hosted an annual lecture inviting prominent and distinguished speakers on foreign policy, American politics, and the world at large. The WRE Annual Lecture is held at the George Washington University and is free and open to the general public. The lectures provide the opportunity for the diverse audience of students, faculty, public diplomacy practitioners, and other members of the public, to hear different perspectives on issues relating or influencing public diplomacy and U.S. foreign policy.

The speakers for the WRE Annual Lectures have included:

Links to more information on the Walter Roberts Annual Lectures:

2020: Joseph Nyeeminent scholar of international relations and political scientist, Harvard University Kennedy School.


2019: Robert Kagan, neoconservative American historian and foreign-policy commentator, Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution


2018: Bruce Wharton, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2016-2017), U.S. Ambassador to Zimbabwe (2012 – 2015)


2017: Michael McFaul, U.S. Ambassador to Russia (2012-2014)


2016: David Ensor, Director, Voice of America (2011-2015)


2014: Robert Ford, U.S.Ambassador to Syria (2010-2014)


2013 January: Thomas Pickering, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1989-1992)


2013 November: Tara Sonenshine, Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (2012-2013)


2011: Brent Scowcroft, National Security Adviser (1989-1993, 1975-1977)




2016 Walter Roberts Centennial Anniversary Special Event

In honor of the 100th year birthday of Walter Roberts, the Institute for Public Affairs and Global Communication and the Walter Roberts Endowment organized a panel on “Challenges in the New Public Diplomacy Environment”.

Distinguished panelists discussed how their organizations were working to fulfill the new demands of public diplomacy and navigating the New Media Landscape.

Challenges in the New Public Diplomacy Environment panel; 2016.


A blog post of the panel event is available on IPDGC’s Smart Power blog. The video presentations of the panelists can also be found on the blog. The speakers at the Centennial event covered the following topics:

Honoring Walter Roberts and Navigating the New Media Landscape

  • Frank Sesno, Director, GW School of Media and Public Affairs.

U.S. Media Diplomacy and Foreign Opinion

  • Robert Entman, George Washington University Professor

Connecting People to Policy – Leveraging Digital Tools/Social Media to Advance U.S. Foreign Policy

  • Macon Phillips, Coordinator of the United States Department of State Bureau of International Information Programs

Reaching global audiences – A changing saga of platforms, paradigms, censorship, and ever narrower echo chambers

  • André Mendes, Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer of the Broadcasting Board of Governors

Public Diplomacy in a “Post-Truth” World

  • Andrea De Arment, Information Officer and Spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu

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