Public Diplomacy in the 2020s

ICA Post-Conference co-sponsored by CPD and the Public Diplomacy Working Group

CPD is pleased to co-sponsor the ICA post-conference by the Public Diplomacy Interest Group this spring in Washington, D.C.

The post-conference gathers PhD students, early career researchers, senior scholars and practitioners in public diplomacy to expand the PD body of knowledge, to address gaps in the literature, to inform and advance PD practices, and to heighten visibility of PD among policymakers in government and higher education. A new and innovative research agenda will recognize how far PD scholarship has come since 9/11, explore directions in public diplomacy research, and discuss opportunities for original collaborations among multidisciplinary scholars crossing boundaries.

CPD would like to thank CPD Faculty Fellow R.S. Zaharna for providing a grant that supports the six student presenters at the "PhD & Post-Doc Research Session." Zaharna is a professor of communication at American University in Washington, D.C. served as a CPD Research Fellow from 2011-13 and has been a longtime contributor and supporter of CPD and student research.


8:30am-8:55am   Coffee

8:55am-9:00am   Welcome and Introduction (Alina Dolea, Bournemouth University, Public Diplomacy Interest Group)

9:00am-10:30am  “PhD & Post-Doc Research Session”

  • Chairs: R.S. Zaharna (American University) & Dr. Nancy Snow (Kyoto University/California State University)
  • Eriks Varpahovskis, PhD Candidate (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, S. Korea). Topic: Student Exchange and Country Image: Alumni of S. Korean Scholarship Program
  • Andrea Pavon-Guinea, PhD Candidate (University of Navarra, Spain). Topic: Engaging Civil Society: Intercultural Dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership
  • Sonali Singh, PhD  (Manipal University, India). Topic: Inward and Outward Explorations: Indian Political Traditions and Contemporary Public Diplomacy
  • B. Theo Mazumdar, PhD (Columbia University, USA). Topic: Digital Diplomacy as Space for User Motives:
  • Bradley McConachie, PhD (Ph.D. Griffith University, 2019). Topic: International Education as Public Diplomacy: Australian Endeavor Scholarships
  • Yangling Yang, Ph.D (Loughborough University, U.K.). Topic: Projection of Soft Power: Inside the Chinese Film Industry


10:30am-11:00am   Break

11:00pm -12:30pm  Roundtable discussion “State of the Art, State of the Future: New Directions in Public Diplomacy Research”

Participants: Kathy Fitzpatrick (American University), Nicholas Cull (University of Southern California), Teresa LaPorte (Universidad de Navarra), Shawn Powers (U.S. Agency for Global Media)

1:30pm-3:00pm     “Research-practice Collaboration in Public Diplomacy”

  • Chairs: Alina Dolea (Bournemouth University) & James Pamment (Lund University)
  • Diana Ingenhoff (University of Fribourg): Developing a 360-degree Integrated Public Diplomacy Evaluation Approach: Analyzing Country Images from Stakeholder and Media Perspectives
  • Alina Dolea (Bournemouth University): Country images and diaspora diplomacy. From diaspora’s agenda to policy making
  • James Pamment (Lund University): Developing processes to counter disinformation


3:00pm-3:30pm   Break

3:30pm-5:00pm  “Practice of Public Diplomacy”

  • Chairs: Amelia Arsenault (U.S. Department of State) & Jay Wang (USC Center on Public Diplomacy) 
  • Eulynn Shiu, Deputy Director, Public Diplomacy Research and Evaluation Unit, U.S. Department of State
  • Nate Smith, Chief Analyst and Rima Mandwee, Analyst, International Information Programs (IIP) Analytics, U.S. Department of State
  • Leah Ermarth, Research Director, Voice of America, U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM)
  • Natalie Donahue, Chief of Evaluation, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State


This session will feature panelists representing the internal public diplomacy and international broadcasting research teams at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for Global Media (formerly the BBG). Panelists will present case studies of monitoring and evaluation, data analytics, and survey projects. Discussions will also focus on potential synergies and opportunities for collaboration between the internal research community and the academic community engaged in public diplomacy research. 


A networking lunch is scheduled to allow for more talks on presentations and collaborations in future projects. Click here to register.

The post-conference is open to all. Please note, you do not have to be an ICA member to attend the post-conference, but you need to create a profile on the ICA website in order to register and attend. The registration fee is $80 for all participants (presenters and non-presenters) and includes the coffee breaks and the networking lunch.

Additional post-conference organizers include both American University School of Communication and Syracuse University Maxwell and Newhouse Schools.

About ICA and the Public Diplomacy Interest Group

The International Communication Association (ICA) is an academic association for scholars interested in the study, teaching and application of all aspects of human and mediated communication. The ICA Public Diplomacy Interest Group was established in 2016. The Public Diplomacy Interest Group provides a forum for the scholars investigating topics related to public diplomacy, nation branding, country image and reputation, public relations for and of nations, as well as political, and global and intercultural communication that influences international relations.


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