u.s. department of state

February 12, 2016

Right now, legislation is pending in the House of Representatives that would do the unthinkable – restrict our government’s ability to broadcast news and information in Arabic to the Arabic-speaking world. As a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait, and Lebanon, I know that whether discrediting ISIS’s murderous ideology, providing a clear explanation of American policy, or better explaining the hallmarks of American culture in places where it is not well understood, there is no substitute for the ability to talk people across the Middle East in their own language.

The State Department is revamping its floundering efforts to curb recruiting by the Islamic State and other terrorist groups, senior U.S. officials tell Foreign Policy, in response to growing dissatisfaction in the White House and Congress at existing attempts to stop the spread of the extremists’ ideology. The changes ordered by Secretary of State John Kerry, which have not previously been reported, shift significant power to a single bureau at the State Department tasked with coordinating all counter-extremism efforts. 

This new article by Natalia Grinchev assess the impact that museums can have on public diplomacy programming, social change and even organizational leadership. 

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a $1 million donation to assist in the development of a high-tech interactive exhibit at the United States Diplomacy Center (USDC). The Department of State will provide the space, staff, and security for the museum, which is intended to honor the history and significance of diplomacy in America.

The real question is not whether the State Department is still relevant but how we can sustain, strengthen, and adapt the tradecraft for a new century unfolding before us.

Pages