us department of state

Amid controversy in Russia and Ukraine, a U.S. Department of State scholarship program aims to enhance public diplomacy, beginning in Kansas. Two exchange students, from Russia and Ukraine, arrived Friday afternoon at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. They arrived on the same flight. Both students have been awarded the prestigious scholarship through the Department of State.

The Obama administration is pursuing a new approach to public diplomacy that stands to weaken US ties abroad, and delivers its most profound blow to the transatlantic relationship. In March, the administration proposed a 13% cut to the Fulbright fellowship program. Cuts to Fulbright come alongside the expansion of shorter programs that offer less substantive immersion for foreigners, neglect Americans, and shift the diplomatic lens away from Europe during a period that requires greater, not less, transatlantic cooperation. 

Besides centrifuges, uranium enrichment, and sanctions, this month the State Department turned to sets, digs, and spikes in diplomatic efforts with Iran. Samuel Werberg, a press and public diplomacy officer in the U.S. State Department, invoked the spirit of Jesse Owens to tout the Obama administration's latest installment of sports diplomacy...

As part of the sports diplomacy program, Tony Sanneh and Thomas Rongen, two American football (soccer) coaches arrived in Port Au Prince this week to take part in a sports program for youth in Haiti, from August 3 - 9, 2014 with partnership from the Haitian National Police (PNH) and the Community Policing Unit, Scouts d'Haïti, and the Haitian Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports.

August 9, 2014

The United States International Communications Reform Act of 2014 (HR4490), passed July 28, 2014 on a voice vote in the House of Representatives, was born out of frustration and desperation – frustration over ways to counter foreign propaganda and desperation to streamline what has become an unwieldy, inefficient, poorly managed and less than effective international broadcast conglomerate.

A linchpin of the American counterinsurgency strategy in southern Afghanistan is maintaining electrical service in Kandahar City, and even that modest goal appears to be slipping away with the ongoing troop withdrawal. That is because the long-overdue upgrade of Kajaki Dam, slated to provide power to Kandahar, now appears unlikely to ever be finished.

Before leaving on its recess, the Senate confirmed John F. Tefft as the United States’ ambassador to Russia, filling a post that had been vacant since February, when a frayed relationship between the two countries began to deteriorate further over the separatist uprising in Ukraine. 

Every year, the State Department and nonprofit groups help send musical troupes, dance groups and teachers abroad to promote American culture and generate goodwill. It’s all part of cultural diplomacy, an idea that got its start with the “jazz ambassadors” at the height of the Cold War in the 1950s and 1960s.