At a July summer institute hosted by the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy, four public diplomacy officers grappled with such questions as “How does public diplomacy advance foreign policy objectives?” and “To whom should PD practitioners listen and how do they listen critically?”

Kathy Fitzpatrick, a CPD Research Fellow and professor and director of graduate studies in public relations in the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., taught the class “Non-State Actors and Public Diplomacy” on July 26. The primary goal, said Fitzpatrick, was to examine the role of non-state actors and the strategic options associated with public-private partnerships.

Thirty public diplomacy practitioners from around the world gathered on July 20 at the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism as part of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy’s annual Summer Institute, sharing their thoughts and experiences on cultural diplomacy.

In this information age, governments are reaching out to people in other parts of the world in an emerging field called public diplomacy. Mike O’Sullivan reports, mid-career officials from government and international institutions recently came to Los Angeles to sharpen their skills in the field.

He may have failed all his GCSEs and admitted to being baffled by his then six-year-old son’s homework, but David Beckham is poised to lecture at one of America’s oldest universities on the conundrums of global diplomacy. When the 32-year-old footballer arrives at his new home in Los Angeles next month he will be bombarded with invitations.

Sixteen diplomats and foreign officials graduated from the inaugural USC Summer Institute: Advanced Training in Public Diplomacy. Funded in part by the United Nations Foundation, the Summer Institute offered an opportunity to critically study public diplomacy in a two-week intensive course. Summer Institute participants came from countries across the world including Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ghana, South Africa, Spain and Thailand.