A View From an FSO:  A Conversation with Atim Eneida George, U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence

CPD Conversations in Public Diplomacy

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy was pleased to host Atim Eneida George, U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence for a conversation about the role of an experienced Foreign Service Officer.

Atim is a veteran practitioner in the field of public diplomacy as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) with posts in Nigeria, Ethopia, South Africa, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

Atim discussed the lessons learned during her 25-year career and how the role of the FSO has changed. In addition, she imparted her thoughts and ideas about the future of role and the implications for public diplomacy in a rapidly changing world.

During her time at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy, Atim is researching the impact of public diplomacy on echo-boomers/millennials in the markets around the world through their impact in fields such as sports, business, the arts, fashion, public policy and international relations.

This spring 2012 semester, Atim is teaching a class in the Master's of Public Diplomacy program, "Listening to the Echo: Examining the Impact of Echo-Boomers in Public Diplomacy" on Thursdays from 9:00am-11:50am.


Atim Eneida George, the U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy (2011-12), explained her challenging, yet inspiring 25-year role as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) in a dialogue with colleagues, students and guests. George provided a condensed history of her service and highlighted several tasks assigned to her that she hoped would inspire and guide the attendees.

In August 1982, George joined the U.S. State Department and has assumed many posts throughout the world prior to coming to the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. She also provided keen insight into her personal life balancing both motherhood and a career.

She went on to describe the evolution of her role as an FSO in the ever-changing world noting significant transformations in countries like South Africa that had “pulled away the toxins out of their system” during the apartheid movement. Additionally, she examined the role of information technology in the State Department to operate in two worlds -- both in classic international relations and in a highly networked environment.

Public diplomacy is the “bright spot” in building a bilateral relationship, described George. She also highlighted the use of new media tools in public diplomacy as transformative means in shaping long-term relationships amongst nation-states and non-state actors.

She closed her presentation with a timeline and an interactive map marking her official State posts during her FSO career.


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