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NATO Public Diplomacy Forum

Co-organized by the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy was pleased to be a co-organizer of the 2016 NATO Public Diplomacy Forum held in Brussels on February 22, 2016.

The PD Forum examined how unpredictable security environments impact the role of public diplomacy, what challenges it faces and what best practices can be explored.

This event was part of NATO's continued efforts to engage with counterparts and colleagues in public, private, and non-profit sectors to exchange best practices and foster constructive discussions on public diplomacy.

The Forum was by invitation only. Read more about it by following this link and view the full program below.

Photos from the conference can be found here.



Introduction and welcome

Gerlinde Niehus
Head of Engagements Section, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO

Jay Wang
Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, US

Keynote speech: Towards the NATO Warsaw Summit 

Ted Whiteside
Acting Assistant Secretary General, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO

Panel 1: Role of soft power in the era of rising violence and extremism – is it still valid?

Ever since the term ‘soft power’ was coined by Joseph Nye 20 years ago, organizations, governments and academics have been trying to explain and recommend the use of soft power to balance the hard power. Where do we stand with soft power in 2016, an era of increased numbers of crisis, conflicts and extremism? Is this term still relevant and how can it be put to best use?

Indra Adnan, Director of SoftPower Network, UK
John Dubber, Head of Policy and External Relations, British Council, UK
Nicholas Cull, Professor, University of Southern California, US
Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General, Emerging Security Challenges Division, NATO

Gerlinde Niehus, Head of Engagements Section, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO

Coffee/tea break

Panel 2: New security challenges, unpredictable environments – How to respond with effective public diplomacy?

New technology embraces us. Global communication is limitless. Organizations and governments struggle to have their message heard in a cacophony of many different voices. This panel will set out to review how to ensure that public diplomacy remains relevant in the new global age with ever younger generations and what is public diplomacy’s future.

Matt Armstrong, Governor, Broadcasting Board of Governors, US
Nicole Matejic, CEO InfoOps HQ, Australia
Matthias Lüfkens, Author, @Twiplomacy, Switzerland
Simon Bergman, Head of Security and Defence, M&C Saatchi World Services, UK

Thomas Renard, Senior Research Fellow, Egmont Institute, Belgium


Practical workshops: Discuss your organization’s best practices and challenges on key topics with our public diplomacy experts

Workshop I: Impactful public diplomacy
(convened by USC Center on Public Diplomacy)

Erik Nisbet, Associate Professor, The Ohio State University, US

Mark McLaughlin, Director, North America Advocacy, Global Affairs, Canada
Thomas Smitham, Deputy Coordinator, Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State

Jay Wang, Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California, US

Workshop II: New avenues for digital public diplomacy
(convened by the Egmont Institute, Belgium)

Jan Melissen, Senior Research Fellow and Professor, Clingendael Institute, The Netherlands

Steven Mehringer, Head of Communication Services, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO
Matthias Lüfkens, Author, @Twiplomacy, Switzerland
Corneliu Bjola, Associate Professor in Diplomatic Studies, MSc Global Governance and Diplomacy, University of Oxford, UK
Alison Daniels, Head of Digital Transformation Unit, Foreign Commonwealth Office, UK

Fabian Willermain, Director, Egmont Institute, Belgium

Workshop III: One year on: Progress on countering propaganda and misinformation campaigns

Oana Lungescu, Spokesperson, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO
Jānis Sārts, Director, NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, Latvia
Jakub Kalensky, representative of the East StratCom Task Force, European External Action Service, Belgium
Ian Robertson, CEO, WG Consulting, Finland
Nicholas Cull, Professor, University of Southern California, US

Robert Pszczel, Acting Director of NATO Information Office in Moscow, NATO

Coffee/tea break

Feedback from the workshops by moderators

Closing of the PD Forum wrap up
Ted Whiteside, Acting Assistant Secretary General, Public Diplomacy Division, NATO

Photo NATO 2002 Summit via Wikimedia Commons 



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