u.s. department of state

What Share America is serving up is bite-sized nuggets of video, photos and text, all optimized to be as shareable as possible on the Web. The goal is to feed content aligned with stated American values -- "democracy, freedom of expression, innovation, entrepreneurship, education, and the role of civil society," reads the site -- in the ever-hungry maw of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks.

Congress has long been concerned that countries receiving American foreign aid frequently oppose U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. Since 1983, Congress has required the U.S. Department of State to prepare an annual report on the frequency with which other countries vote with the U.S. in the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA).

The charity stunt has lured athletes, celebrities, politicians and rock stars and gone viral on the Internet, but don’t look for US diplomats to get in on the fun.

This summer, 500 Africans studied business, leadership and public management on American campuses as part of a new State Department program.  The Obama administration has hailed the effort, which is part of the larger Young African Leaders Initiative, as a fresh take on public diplomacy.

Most often associated with Alec Ross’s stint at the State Department as Senior Advisor for Innovation, diplomacy’s rush to better leverage the advantages of social media and mobile technologies by investing in ediplomacy and PD 2.0 is no secret. On his first day as new Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs last February, Richard Stengel made his position clear: social media are “transformational tools” and the State Department needs to move toward a “digital-first strategy.” Ambassadors now tweet regularly. 

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has taken to Twitter to spread its message, trumpet bloody successes, and recruit potential jihadists, but its social-media campaign has come under attack from forces that range from the U.S. State Department to the mysterious group of hacker-activists who call themselves Anonymous.

The State Department is financing a new 24-hour satellite television channel in the turbulent northern region of Nigeria that U.S. officials say is crucial to countering the extremism of radical groups such as Boko Haram. The move signals a ramping up of U.S. counterinsurgency efforts to directly challenge the terrorist group, which abducted nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls in April.

A group of 12 Zambians and Zimbabweans will be in the United States as part of the Business and Entrepreneurship Exchange Programme. They were selected from a competitive pool with over 300 applications received from interested entrepreneurs. Their placements are in the states of North Carolina and Colorado. In addition, eight American participants will be selected to participate in a two-week reciprocal program to Zambia and Zimbabwe in early 2015.

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