CPD Mini-Courses in Public Diplomacy

For over 17 years, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy has been the go-to program for public diplomats and international communication professionals looking to sharpen their skillsets and analytical capabilities essential for success in today’s complex environment.

Our training utilizes the latest social science research and cutting-edge communication tools in real-time public diplomacy challenges. It provides a setting for practitioners to re-examine and refine their skills in a group of peers and to build an international network of colleagues.

Fall 2023 Mini-Course I: Integrating AI into Your Public Diplomacy Strategy

Why do public diplomacy practitioners need to understand data science and artificial intelligence? How does AI work? And what are the policy frameworks and best practices guiding the development of AI in public diplomacy? This workshop introduces the basic AI and computing concepts underpinning modern public diplomacy work. Participants will develop an informed view about AI and its various applications from data collection to content strategies that enable new forms of public diplomacy engagement.


How Will AI Shape the Future of Public Diplomacy
This module provides an overview of the latest developments in AI and explores key issues and challenges. It also discusses potential applications in public diplomacy.

Current Policies and Practices of AI in Public Diplomacy
A facilitated discussion of the impact of AI on professional and creative work, specifically in the context of public diplomacy. This module explores AI platforms and tools to navigate the contemporary information environment, as well as policy frameworks to manage and harness the power and potential of AI.

Fundamentals of AI and Applications in Public Diplomacy
Explains the logic of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and their applications in public diplomacy efforts. An overview of what computational thinking means and entails, and its relevance and importance to public diplomacy.

AI for Public Diplomacy Storytelling
An introduction to AI's applications for content creation in the context of public diplomacy. Participants will develop an audience-based strategy using AI tools, then prototype a solution that may be used in their organization.

Fall 2023 Mini-Course II: Next-Generation Storytelling for Public Diplomacy (WILL BE RESCHEDULED IN SPRING 2024)

This workshop explores content-creation strategies and tactics to drive greater public diplomacy impact. It focuses on adapting to changing media consumption behavior and narrative formats. Participants will develop skillsets in producing content strategies in a variety of formats and channels.


Digital Storytelling for Public Diplomacy
Explores the key developments in the fast-changing communication landscape and how to inform and share public diplomacy digital content in innovative and exciting ways. From mobile to desktop, participants will learn new tools and practices for digital storytelling.

Video Games and Public Diplomacy
Discusses the trends and developments in video games and explores the implications as an engagement platform for public diplomacy.

Mixed Reality Storytelling for Public Diplomacy
Introduces the basics of immersive storytelling through examples, as well as low-cost tools and techniques to create VR/AR stories for sharing.

Creator Culture
Focuses on the emergence of a new wave of native social media entrepreneurs as cultural producers - YouTube vloggers, Twitch gameplayers, Instagram influencers, TikTokers, and others - and how the disruption shapes storytelling formats and impact.


Both Mini-Courses will be held at USC's new Washington, DC Campus in Dupont Circle at 1771 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Each workshop lasts for two days and includes 12 content hours with a lunch break and shorter breaks offered throughout each day. You are expected to arrive on time and attend all modules. Unfortunately, there are no make-ups. All scheduled meeting times are in Eastern Time (time zone converter here). Here is the schedule:

Mini-Course I: Integrating AI into Your Public Diplomacy Strategy

  • Monday, November 13, 2023, 9:00am to 4:30pm ET
  • Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 9:00am to 4:30pm ET

Mini-Course II: Next-Generation Storytelling for Public Diplomacy

Currently rescheduling for Spring 2024.


For 1 Mini-Course

  • Single participant: $2,450 USD
  • Multiple (3+ from the same organization): $2,250 USD per participant
  • Discount for USC alumni: $2,050 USD


The application deadline was November 1, 2023 and the payment deadline was November 6, 2023. For more information, please email Renee Almassizadeh, CPD Assistant Director for Operations and Programming at almassiz@usc.edu.