Matthew Asada Joins CPD as Public Diplomat in Residence

The USC Center on Public Diplomacy is pleased to welcome Matthew Asada of the U.S. Department of State as our new U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence for the 2022–24 term.

Asada joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 2003. He served as Foreign Service Officer in border posts in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Germany and the United Arab Emirates. In Kunduz, Afghanistan, he helped expand the opening hours and maximize trade opportunities of the U.S.-funded $49 million Afghan-Tajik Bridge. In New Delhi, he served as First Secretary for Exchanges and Education and was responsible for U.S.-India and U.S.-Bhutan exchanges, alumni outreach and higher education cooperation. From 2010–11, Asada staffed Ambassadors Marc Grossman and the late Richard Holbrooke as they sought to forge a political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan.

Asada most recently served as Deputy Commissioner General of the USA Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, which was the first World’s Fair held in the Middle East and the Department of State’s largest public diplomacy project of the year.

“I am excited to join the Center and continue my research into the public diplomacy aspects of global mega-events (Olympics, World Cup and World’s Fairs) and subnational diplomacy," said Asada. "There is no better city than Los Angeles, one of the 11 American 2026 World Cup host cities and host of the 2028 Summer Olympic Games, to explore the confluence of global mega-events and subnational diplomacy. As a Japanese-American, I am honored to return to California where my great-grandparents began our American story as farmers before their incarceration during World War II.”

Asada holds a master’s degree in European Politics and Policy from the London School of Economics, a bachelor’s degree in Economics and a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and German from the University of Pennsylvania. He also studied at the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies as an American Political Science Association congressional fellow and at the Free University in Berlin. 

Learn more about our past visiting diplomats, scholars and fellows here.

About the U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence

Established in 2005 by joint agreement between the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and the office of the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, the U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence is a two-year detail assignment for one Foreign Service Public Diplomacy Officer. While in residence at the Center, the U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence teaches at least one course in the USC Master of Public Diplomacy program and engages in individualized program research and writing for the Center's publication series as well as outreach to students and the academic community on matters related to public diplomacy. The U.S. Public Diplomat in Residence program is unique to the University of Southern California.


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