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Barbara Walters/via Flickr Creative Commons

What if Barbara Walters Were the Next Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy?

May 21, 2014


This week I’ve been watching much of the coverage chronicling Barbara Walters’ incredible career and pending retirement.  The sheer magnitude of her career will be something that will be discussed and debated for years to come. No one can deny the contributions she has made not only to journalism but to the entire notion of fostering mutual understanding, a key pillar of public diplomacy.

Wouldn’t it be incredible if by some miracle Barbara Walters became the next Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy at State?  It strikes me that not only is Walters one of the most impressive Brand Ambassadors the U.S. has right now, she is one of the few people on this planet who knows how to connect and empathize across the widest of spectrums.  Walters is one of the few Americans who has had direct, one-on-one experience with and access to every major global influencer of the last five decades, from sitting U.S. presidents and world leaders to cultural icons and industry titans.  Her journalism background would not only return public diplomacy to its Edward R. Murrow roots but place the field back on the level of focus and stature that it so rightly deserves.  Is anyone better positioned to ‘inform and influence’ international audiences today than Barbara Walters?

She would never take the job of course.  But one can dream….


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