My experiences in Ethiopia have been, in a word, wonderful. I quickly discovered I share a common thread with the majority of the people here:  that of our national pride and a love for the beautiful game of soccer (futbol). I have oft said the game of futbol shrinks the world; it is a common language spoken in just about every corner. This has been no different in Ethiopia.

Some conventional public diplomacy measures are not suitable for countering violent extremism (CVE) because they are mismatched against extremists’ more aggressive tactics. But this week, the U.S. State Department has taken a significant step forward by announcing that it will place greater emphasis on development aid in its CVE efforts. A joint strategy that will better coordinate State Department CVE projects with USAID should bring new substance to public diplomacy that has CVE potential.

Xavier University of Louisiana students with visiting Pakistani journalists during their visit to New Orleans in January 2016.

The media's potential for empowering marginalized communities through public diplomacy.

In the small, isolated town of Timbiquí, located on the banks of one of the many winding rivers in Colombia’s Pacific region, there isn’t much for kids to do. [...] To try to counter this, USAID’s Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Program (ACIP), in partnership with Fundación Tiempo de Juego, is implementing a powerful tool: the soccer ball. 

America’s money and public diplomacy have opened conversations and opportunities in societies where the subject was taboo just a few years ago. But they have also made gay men and lesbians more visible — and more vulnerable to harassment and violence, people on both sides of the gay rights issue contend. 

Mike Tabor and Esther Siegel have had a tough time settling back into their lives in Fulton County after visiting rural villages in Tanzania.

"It was like visiting another planet," Tabor said. "I just feel bad for the people."

Tabor and Siegel aren't missionaries. The married couple operates an organic farm near Needmore and their customers live in the Washington, D.C., area.

They volunteered for a two-week visit to farm villages at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro as part of the Farmer to Farmer program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Nepal’s beleaguered citizens are struggling to recover from the April 25 magnitude-7.8 earthquake that claimed more than 8,600 lives, caused countless injuries and left many thousands missing. But a United States Agency for International Development official said broader collaboration continues concurrently with U.S. Pacific Command on regional priorities including disaster preparedness, nontraditional regional threats, such as resource insecurity; climate change, pandemic issues and environmental considerations.