“This is what Secretary Clinton talks about with smart power — you need to use all your tools for diplomacy, not just traditional tools,” Bazbaz said. “Trips like this — public diplomacy programs — really make a difference. USC did a great job representing the United States.”

Soccer players from England, Argentina or Brazil who went on tours in other countries were transformed into ambassadors while away. Sports and soccer, in Latin America especially, were effective ways for countries to get to know each other, he said.

To vent their frustration with the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, whose crackdown on the country’s uprising has killed an estimated 2,700 civilians since mid-March, the ambassadors have taken to slamming the regime on the embassy blog, embassy Facebook page, and online interviews, Storyful reports.

August 18, 2011

The incidental influence that the United States exerts simply through people around the world observing its behavior is consistently underestimated, just as the influence the United States can exert intentionally by exercising its economic, military, or other instruments of hard power tends to be overestimated.

Rebuilding the financial reputation of the United States will be Gary Locke's top priority when he arrives in Beijing on Friday as the US ambassador to China, experts said... And he will certainly engage in public diplomacy, promoting human rights and Western values...

the appointment of authoritative religious figures as special representatives of the president...could these representatives perform an important liaison function with their religious communities, but their individual and collective presence could help inform our foreign policy and public diplomacy with a more nuanced understanding of their respective faith traditions.