Water Diplomacy:  A Foreign Policy Imperative

A CPD Conference

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy hosted a major conference on water diplomacy. Water is essential to humankind’s existence, is increasingly unavailable because of pollution, failure to develop conservation programs, and mismanagement of water resources. During the near future, water shortages could lead to conflict in many parts of the world. Water-related problems are global in scope, and although international bodies actively support initiatives to conserve and fairly allocate water, not enough is being done to address this critical topic.

CPD’s Water Diplomacy Initiative includes research and programming that will contribute to the following three objectives: achieving a greater understanding of the impact of water diplomacy on the recipients of current and future programs; assessing best practices in the field; and developing technological and policy recommendations to governments and organizations conducting Water Diplomacy.

For more information about CPD's Water Diplomacy Initiative, please click here.

Conference Agenda, Monday, February 27
USC Davidson Conference Center

Welcome: Ernest J. Wilson III, Dean, USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and Philip Seib, Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy

Keynote: Jaehyang So, Manager, Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), The World Bank

Panel 1: Listening: Water Diplomacy on the Ground

Panelists & Chair:
Nicholas J. Cull, Director, Master of Public Diplomacy Program, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, USC (chair)
Úrsula Oswald Spring, Professor, National University of Mexico UNAM/CRIM, Cuernavaca, Mexico
Ruben van Genderen, Research Fellow, Water Diplomacy, Institute for European and International Policy, KU Leuven, Belgium
Stella Williams, Former Professor of Agricultural Economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria

Panel 2: Implementation: Water Diplomacy in Practice

Panelists & Chair:
John O'Brien, Executive Vice Dean of Engineering, Viterbi School of Engineering, USC (chair)
Jerome Delli Priscoli, Senior Advisor, Institute for Water Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Gregory J. Koch, Managing Director, Global Water Stewardship, Office of Sustainability, The Coca-Cola Company

Lunch & Conversation with Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director, Friends of the Earth Middle East, and Philip Seib, Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School

Panel 3: The Future of Water Diplomacy Policy

Panelists & Chair:
Richard Little, Former Director of the Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy, USC (chair)
Mark Bernstein, Senior Vice President, Energy, Clean Tech and Sustainability Practice, MWW Group
Katherine Bliss, Director, Project on Global Water Policy and Deputy Director and Senior Fellow in Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Lawrence Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, MIT, and Director, Public Disputes Program and Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School

Concluding Remarks: Naomi Leight, Assistant Director for Research and Publications, and Philip Seib, Director, USC Center on Public Diplomacy

This conference was co-sponsored by the USC Center for International Studies and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Press on Water Diplomacy: A Foreign Policy Imperative:
"Olives, a Violent Romance That Resonates in the Arab World," Huffington Post, March 5, 2012
"USC Takes a Dip Into Water Diplomacy", USC in the News, March 2, 2012
"Foreign Waters," Daily Trojan, February 27, 2012



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