February 22, 2012

Mexico's President Felipe Calderon has called in a British expert on country branding for advice, and the country's tourism industry is now headed by a man who has worked for some of the biggest consumer brands in the world.

UNAM hopes to upload everything it has — from 18th century newspapers and vintage films to hundreds of thousands of student theses and a still-to-be-gauged sea of classroom teaching items — and let the world have it free of charge. The project, called Toda la UNAM en Línea (All of UNAM Online), made its debut last month.

A principal reason that few recognize Mexico’s current and potential strengths is that the nation has done a poor job in defining itself through public diplomacy. Mexico has excellent academic institutions, think tanks, and other organizations that could help the government craft an ambitious, comprehensive public diplomacy strategy.

MEXICO CITY --- While attending a meeting here recently, I referred to Mexico as a “major power.” A government official said he was surprised. “We are a major power,” he said, “but nobody knows that.”

Mexico is the 11th largest nation in the world, with 114 million people. Its GDP of $1.6 trillion is 12th largest in the world. It has a labor force of 47 million. But it is still dismissed by many as an inconsequential player in world affairs.

The next assistant secretary needs to mainstream these twenty-first century tools into our statecraft and public diplomacy—and coordinate activities across the department. In other words, pick up and expand where former Assistant Secretary of State Arturo Valenzuela left off.

October 9, 2011

One of the main reasons why they are successful in America is because of our system. Governor Brown and his allies in Sacramento should advocate an American foreign policy that reorients itself to the soft power of exporting American values and know-how so the Sotomayors, Brins, Omidyars and Zakarias in Puerto Rico, Russia, Iran and India can find success at home.

Today, the USC Center on Public Diplomacy released a Media Monitor Report on "Expo Shanghai 2010 - Flaunting Nations' Beauty through the Practice of Nation Branding".

Nigeria and Mexico are poised to strengthen cultural bilateral relations with the hosting of the maiden edition of the Mexican Film Festival. The film festival which took place at the Silverbird Galleria in Abuja on September 16, saw both countries exploring opportunities inherent in their motion picture industries for cultural diplomacy.