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Public Diplomacy from the Heartland

Why It is Important for America to be Engaged in the World

Public diplomacy has been a central pillar of American statecraft for more than 60 years. So what does public diplomacy look like from the vantage point of Middle America, the nation’s heartland?

Creating and maintaining relationships abroad with thought leaders, innovators and change-makers who influence the conduct of international affairs is essential to America’s national security and global stability. It requires continued American commitment as well as a strategic investment of resources in public diplomacy over the long term.

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy (CPD), in partnership with the Gaylord College of Journalism & Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma (OU), will bring together thought leaders for a special event on OU’s campus  to reflect on the vital role of public diplomacy in international affairs and to share perspectives on the new global landscape where diplomacy is so often disrupted by geopolitics, geoeconomy and technology.

Particular focus will be placed on past successes and enduring challenges facing U.S. engagement with our neighbor Mexico and alliances across Asia.


  • Suzette Grillot, Dean, College of International Studies, University of Oklahoma (moderator)
  • Jacob Poushter, Senior Researcher, Pew Research Center
  • Arturo Sarukhan, CPD Distinguished Fellow, Mexican Ambassador to the United States (2007-2013), and international strategic consultant
  • Bo Kong, ConocoPhillips Petroleum Professor of Chinese and Asian Studies and Assistant Professor, Department of International and Area Studies, University of Oklahoma


This event will be live-streamed here starting at 5:30pm (CST)/3:30pm (PST)/6:30pm (EST). You can follow along on Twitter via #CPDHeartland.

This program is co-sponsored by the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma.



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