tv Public Diplomacy Discussion With State Department Officials CSPAN September 30, 2019 12:38pm-1:31pm EDT
country so you can make up your own mind. created by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. state department officials discussed public diplomacy at an event hosted by the university of southern california and george washington university in washington, d.c. it's 50 minutes. good morning, everybody. i believe we're on c-span live so pictures of us milling around are filling, i wouldn't call it the air waves, but thank you so much for joining us today and a very special welcome to our guest, assistant secretary michelle gujda and assistant principal secretary for global affairs bureau, nicole shulick.
we're honored to have them here today. a special welcome to our commissioners of the advisory commission for public diplomacy, chairman farar, vice chairman bill hible and commissioner ann weidner. today, as you know, under the auspices of the advisory commission we've called a public meeting to look at the question of the gpa, the newly formed gpa. and where it fits into state department's vision for public diplomacy going forward in the 21st century. and as vivian walker, executive director, it is my honor to open this event. before i turn the mic over to my colleague for opening comments, i just want to tell you a little bit about how things are going to go today. mr. farar will give us brief comments and we'll turn it over to our principal speakers. they'll speak in a tag-team
formation. at the end of their presentation we'll be happy to take your questions and comments. please hold your questions and comments until they have finished their presentation. for the moderated q&a session, there will be a microphone. please speak into the microphone as you ask your questions because this whole event, to include not only the remarks but your questions and our answers are part of a transcript that will be part of the public record. so it's very important we capture your questions so that we can reflect them accurately. and with that it it is my great pleasure to turn over to chairman farar. >> thank you. thank you for being here. thanks to special guest, sherri mueller, and adam. i'm pleased to be joined by my distinguished colleagues, bill
hibble, vice chairman from colorado springs, colorado, and ann weidner from chicago, illinois. for 70 years the commission has advised on u.s. government's global information media, cultural and education exchange perhaps. it is a bipartisan and independent body created by congress in 1948 to assess and recommend policies and programs in support of all u.s. governments to understand, inform and influence foreign publics, particularly but not limited to the work of the u.s. department of state and the u.s. agency for global media. the commission's mandated by law to report its findings and recommendations to the president of the united states. congress, secretary of state and, of course, the american people. the commission's comprehensive annual report on public diplomacy and international broadcasting is the acpd's premiere product. it compiles and analyzes pd data collected from over 20 state department offices and other u.s. government agencies.
it includes carefully considered recommendations from the commission for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the u.s. government's pd programs. since fiscal year 2013 the commission has made 112 recommendations, roughly 55% of which have been implemented or in the process of being implemented, resulting in improved operational efficiencies and program effectiveness. indeed, one of these recommendations and the reason radioer here today is the proposed merger of bureau of public affairs into what is now known as bureau of global public affairs. the gpa's creation has been described as the largest restructuring of the state department since the merger of the u.s. information agency and department of state 20 years ago. it's hard to believe it's gone by that quickly. we're very fortunate to have the assistant secretary of state as well as gpa's principle deputy assistant secretary nicole both
here today to help us understand what the new gpa looks like and where it fits into the department's broader vision of public diplomacy. the commission appreciates this opportunity to learn about program changes under way and challenges remaining and the ways in which the commission and public diplomacy community can support this effort. again, thank you all for joining us here today. now i'm pleased to invite assistant secretary of state michele to speak followed by principal deputy secretary of state nicole. thank you both very much. >> thank you. it's a pleasure to be here today. thank you for the acpd for hosting us. we were joking, i'm a ucla bruin but love be -- yeah, go, bruins, but love being involved with the program as well. very excited to talk to you today. as you know, there's never been a more -- can you hear me? there we go. better?
not better. can you hear me now? all right. never been a more exciting or important time for public diplomacy and communications and how the united states is communicating both policy and values in every corner of the world. and so in this type of media environment and this type of foreign policy environment, the thinking we put behind this merger and the intent behind it was to make sure that we can accelerate and really deliver on what we're charged with doing previously both from p & a and effectively communicate around the world. we know the communications landscape is fast accelerating. there's a new platform popping up. tech is driving a lot of change when it comes to communication. there's vr, ar, ai. the report in 2017 about whether or not public diplomacy can survive the internet was a good indication of where things are
going and coming fast. we know business and media and culture and entertainment and government are all colliding, right? they don't sit in separate worlds anymore. these are all integrated. we need to communicate in that type of environment where things that we do from a government perspective also impact culture and vice versa. and we know that the foreign policy issues we're dealing with on any given day are most, if not all, multiregional, multinational in nature. we have to look at things through a lens, a global lens, to really communicate effectively and think about all the audiences that we're trying to reach. in that type of environment, again, our focus was really to bring together it the best of both worlds from public affairs, from aaip, the strengths that both of them had to really accelerate and enhance the united states to compete in the world today. it wasn't an internal-driven thing. it was an external-driven thing. we have to lead and be successful in the world today.
being able to do that meant integrating, again, the strengths and best of both worlds from ap and pna. so the domestic focus and foreign focus. how do we think about both of those? and thinking about policy and values. there's a foreign policy piece that pa was transitiditionally focused on. there's a values-driven that aip was doing to international audiences. how do we think about those in communicating america to the world? and really talk about the values that make america unique and part of our long standing history. the rule of law, religious freedom, individual liberty, things like that. we know this wasn't the first time a merger was explored or thought about. the acp put together a recommendation a number of years ago. we had conversations with alumni from the state department within
and without who have currently previously explored iterations of the merger before to inform our thinking. and so the difference this time we think was the external world. there's an urgency to the ability -- or to the need for the united states to be able to communicate effectively. wanted to make sure to deliver on that. we had tremendous amount of support in leadership from secretary pompeo, who from day one has made sure to empower the state department team to make the changes and lead to do our jobs most effectively. we knew we had that support going into this. nicole will talk a little more about the how and how we accomplished the merger. our areas of focus in bringing together the best of both worlds really were, first and foremost, integration. i've used that word a lot. but how are we bringing together the best of both worlds? the strengths from story telling and communicating values and in understanding of foreign audiences and working with posts
to understand the audiences on the ground, the culture and the language and the narrative on the ground and bring that into our story telling. and then the public affair strengths from strategic communications, communicating policy, the real-time environment, how are we thinking about both of those together. secondly, we placed a very emphasis on data and research and insights and analytics. one of the opportunities technology has provided us and digital communications has provided us is being able to measure, in some cases real time, how effectively and quickly we're communicating on any given issue. as well as long-term audience research on how overtime we are making an impact, which the acpd i know has explored for a number of years. we placed a really big emphasis on how are we putting data and insights at the core of communicating to be able to not only measure at the back end how we're communicating but really inform when we're designing a
strategy and our communications and our message, how we're communicating. so, we're informing at the beginning, we're measuring along the way and improving in real time as close to -- as close to real-time as possible. speed was another focus of ours. we know the new cycle is moving instantaneously. how are we working together quickly to be able to deliver on that, to get our message out to make sure the truth is out there before some counternarratives from other folks out there in the world so we're being effective and fast with how we're communicating, in addition to the long-term communications and values that we're communicating over time. lastly, we really focused on future-proofing the bureau. we didn't want to design a bureau just for 2019 -- or 2018, really, when we started it, but 2019, right? we wanted to make sure we're setting ourselves up for success for five, ten years down the line and that means having written into our structure the way we work a focus on exploring new platforms, new technologies,
best practices, not only on technology but in-person communications and relationship-building. how are we future-proofing so we're constantly changing and a the communications landscape in the world today. so that was a really big focus of ours. our ip has had a great strength in doing that over the course of the last few years so we wanted to make sure that was still part of the culture in the merger. so it was a very clollaborative and deliberate effort. nicole will talk about how we made this happen. it was a large exercise in collaboration together. really important opportunity for us to work with folks all across the department with the acpd and other external stake holders as well. so i'll turn it over to nicole to explain more. >> sure. so i'm really happy to be here and to be able to talk to you about the how that we put this
together. michelle had laid out the vision behind the merger, behind the creation of the bureau of public affairs. let me get in the weeds and talk to you about the how. so last year, we pulled together a working group with michelle had mentioned with represe representatives from across the department. included iip and pa colleagues. we made sure to have colleagues from big hr at the department to make sure we were considering all of the hr potential issues. colleagues from our budget office so we were thinking about what the budget might look like and senior pd professionals so we could get the benefit of their experience. got it. and incorporate their thoughts into this. so we gave the team a basic framework then leaned on them to put a plan together. first, they were to focus on strategic communications. that was the purpose of the new
bureau and the merger. but also to to look at all the capable theties in iip and pa and think about where if they didn't fit into a strategic communications bureau, where might they be successfully housed within the state the president? the merger was to be budget friendly. we were trying to future proof this. we wanted to build a structure that would last into the future that wasn't based on personalities or anything like that. but a structure that really would last into the future and we wanted to make the best use of all of our employee's skills and abilities, to make sure they ended up in places they could utilize their talents. so they put a plan together. we looked at it and continued to consult throughout the department. we talked to acpd.
engaged our legal colleagues to make sure we could communicate to domestic and foreign audiences. we continued to engage with budget and human resources to make sure we were thinking about all those issues and make sure that we had all of the details right because really as you know, the devil is in the details. that's the hard part. we did some initial briefs to the hill. and to the employee unions to see what their concerns might be and incorporate any feedback. thep we started working on implementation. we started the hard work of implementing the changes. through that, we set up working groups to elicit broad participation from the workforce. we wanted to make sure folks had the opportunity to have their voices heard. that we were taking into consideration their thoughts as we were moving forward with implementation. we prioritized regular
communication. michelle and i sent out regular communications talking about the process. talking about what was going to happen. we took input from the field and sent out a survey to public diplomacy professionals so see how themted the partner with the new bureau and what they had valued most from the old iip and pa. so we could think b about what we wanted to continue in the new bureau. the emphasis during the period was on communication and continues to be. we are now fully functional. we have been for about three months. so we're still fairly new, but we're continuing to focus on communication within the bureau and within the state department. to make sure our colleagues here dmesically and at posts around the world understand what a p t
partner we can be in communicating about american values and foreign policy priorities. we recognize the posts are often best equipped to communicate about the bilateral relationship, but that we have a d d distimgt advantage in communicating about the key priorities on american values. that's where our comparative advantage exists. so we will continue to engage. the it's part o tthe ongoing planning and we'll continue to engage with others as well. this engagement here is part of spreading the word about what the new bureau will do. we hope to continue working with acpd and see you know how we may continue to improve our communications at state department. >> thank you. one of the things nicole touched on before we turn it over to questions is this idea of continuing to engage and improve. so one of the things we talk ed
about with our team members in this process has been what our values are. and one of the core values to global public affairs is change because we know that the world outside of us is changing quickly because of technology and because of the way that the world is accelerating. so we have tried to put that at the center of how we're communicating to our team, which is change is going to be required if we're going to keep up and be effective at what we do. so we're trying to engrain that as part of our culture and know that we didn't solve everything right away or that this isn't how it's, it's not a static thing, right? our team is going to have f to keep evolving and learning and changing and the bureau is going to have to keep evolving and learning and changing to make sure we're able to deliver on our objective, which is to communicate on behalf of the united states. >> we even made that clear when we were working with hr at the department. there were going to continue to be changes and tweaks to make the bureau as effective as it can be. >> all right. thank you both for coming together.
and for such incredible news. congratulations on changing a major piece of f a strongly engrained bureaucracy. no small feat and you've done it is grace and competence. we're going to take questions from the audience about the new bureau. i want to start off with a softball. it seems like maybe final ly th creation has elevated pd function to a place where it has more respect nsds of the state department. something that i know because i was a young usia officer back in the ta. and maybe now you've been able to create a status and career
focus that didn't exist before. so maybe you guys could comment on that. >> i think that we hope that to be true and certainly think that the energy around this and the impact makes it true. policy priorities, things at the center of the conversation now, while we are still communicating long-term across the field and the world. so i think i've been at the state department for a year and a half. even in that short amount of time, from time that i joined until now, the way in which p drk has been elevated and is seen as central not only to communicating values, but to achieving and accomplishing policy objectives has become more apparent to folks inside and outside of the pd world. the same is true in the prooiflt sector. marketing is is core in a private sector business to how a business gets its work done and the same is true for pd now.
it's central to how state department and diplomacy. i was speaking with somebody recently who said all diplomacy the public. which is true. everything is transparent now. everything is part of a narrative and conversation. so i certainly hope and think that pd has been elevated through this. hopefully we contributed to that. >> i'd like to jump in for a second. i'm career an foreign service public diplomacy nomenclature is a little odd, but coned. and i'm excited about this. i think it has really elevated public diplomacy to your point and places at the table in those conversations so that the messaging component and how we talk ability american values is core when we're looking at policy implementation. so i'm excited. >> so who wants to be brave from the audience? go in the front here. brave woman in the front. >> thank you very much.
>> just say who you are. >> yes, absolutely. my name is greta morris and i'm retired career public diplomacy foreign service officer. congratulations to both of you and to everyone who has been involved in this incredible process, which i have also been involved in in a very, very shawl way, but it's been an exciting process. i just wanted to ask about the name of the new bureau, the bureau of global public affairs. we have been talk iing about public affairs and diplomacy. your sign say next generation public affairs and public diplomacy. and it seems like like the public diplomacy part has gotten lost in this new title and i'm just wondering how you're sort of thinking of public affairs
and diplomacy. there was the distinction of overseas through amnesties an posts so i'm just wondering how this factored into your decision about the name for the new bureau and thank you very much. >> thank you. >> the name was one of the last things we decided on b because tlvs a rigorous conversation around the name and what it meant and symbolized. public affairs and disassociated with with policy. same thing with pd. again, i used integration at the beginning of this. we wanted to think about those together. it's not that we are doing both because we're aware of the smith
mud law. you can't think about how you're communicating in a silo because digital has made that a fact. we wanted to communicate that we are focused on b public affairs in a broader sense in communicating about both policy and values and in a global way. so global public affairs. but it was a large robust conversation. >> thank you so much. i'm just a member of the public. my name is jonathan mulkey. sort of a student of the state department and its history. my question of the panel is it seems like there's this normative, ecktive diplomatic reading and writing practice about the nature of public affairs and diplomacy. that's the first thing. it also seems like some people are privy to the making of these
pru procedures and policies. how do we make the state department more inclusive to those who have f not been part of that normative, executive narrative? >> not sure i understand the question. >> i'll jump in and hazard a response i think as an american citizen, we're all public diplomats when we travel. so even if there's a school of thought and theory we're working from inside of an academic institution, there's always citizen diplomacy and that's something you can participate in when you travel and have experiences in and you welcome people here as well. i don't know if that's the answer you're looking for. not sure how else to answer it except there's a specific practice inside the department of state that's a professional sort of experience and yet, if you are interested in it as a
civilian, you can practice it in your own life. the next question. >> i believe lawrence professor here at gw and a former foreign service officer. two questions. one i just came up with. as a former foreign services officer, i was very frustrated. in large part because the american public is clueless in many ways about diplomacy and a lot of not communicatinging with the american public was on in respect for smith mud so i was wonder whag he might be trying to do to have more diplomats be peek iing to american publics a other ways. other ways to get the word out about what u.s. foreign policy means. we end up every year having congress to defend budget cuts. the general public doesn't have much of a view on it.
my second question is it's very clear to me that you're integrateded a will the of things here, but i'm just wondering does everything get integrated or does something stay on their own? i'm thinking about there are various foreign policy making functions. there's intelligence functions that have to be separate to be good and not everything has to be integrated all the time. i'm just concerned i'm hearing integration, integration, that somehow you can overintegrate your messaging with your foreign policy making. >> i'll take part two. let me take the smith mud question first. we just had a conversation last week. when we can access content from anywhere, how do you make this work? we're still working with them on that to make sure when we're producing content that is meant
for foreign audiences and is going to foreign audiences, that we're using the correct funding for that. there's a robust conversation ongoing about making sure we're staying on the right side of it. they will admit themselves it b probably doesn't go far enough to address the way the digital world works right now. so ongoing con vversations and we're supposed to meet next week to continue those conversations. >> on the integration piece, we have an integrated policymaking with what we're doing. it's integrating all the different functions as part of the spectrum of how we need to communicate to the world. but we still have stones and groups in offices that are doing specific and specialized things. it's more so how we getting this em to work together so the right people are at the right table at the right time in thinking of f how we create a message so we have data at the table when we're deciding what message to
use with what audience. so we have our contact creators and our dingital folks a t the table at the right moments at the right time and we've always from the beginning, have been well aware that you can design whatever chart you want. the imagimagic is how you work together and what the process looks like. the way in which we work together. >> thanks very much. this is so interest iing and thk you very much for the presentation. >> thank you. >> ooip the last voice of america director before amanda bennett, who's the current one. great to see you both here and see you again, michelle. my question is about something that came up when i was in office and imagine you're ke dealing with. it's smith mud.
we found we had to get out of the way when a group of immigrant americans, somali from minnesota, haitian from florida and some others came to us and said why can't we hear your broadcast? and we had to explain to them there's a smith-mundt law and they went to the hill and said we want to get this changed. we want to hear the broadcast we heard in somali and minnesota. it wasn't our role to be involved even except to answer questions, but it opened up opportunities for voice of america in terms of reaching communities around the world, frankly, who were somali or haitian or any other group. how is this organization if at all going to create new opportunities for you in terms of immigrant communities in the
united states and perhaps being able to communicate through them mother country of origin or to other groups and is there a further need of smith-mundt to allow more than what you're doing now. >> a large part of our county ver sags and bringing insights and analytics to the core of how we operate is make iing all of communications and strategies audience centered. so in designing campaigns and strategies around who we're trying to reach and influence. so i think if we're thinking about how we're going to engage certain communities or to ask for a american or foreign, it all comes down to who our audience is ultimately and the best way to reach them and we'll lean on research and analytics and audience understanding to do that. we have an office of public engagement focused on communicate in the united states with communities who are
interested in the state department or engaged in foreign policy, so they're certainly integrated to how we're thinking about communication, but yeah, definitely a part of using our data and analytics on how best to reach certain audiences. that may be one of them. >> r part of what we wanted to do through this merger is make our domestic outreach more strategic. who are we trying to reach with what message? knowing who your audience is and why you want to reach them with a particular message. so if we send out a hometown diplomat, where are we sending them and why and being more strategic when we look at that. >> on smith-mundt, the law is a law and we're abiding with it and legal has been a part of the conversation since day one. the first day that we got the working day together so we've made sure to design the bureau and how we operate to align fully with smith-mundt. is it worth the conversation and
the ways in which it might be approved? i think certain ly, right? with the fwoel being how is united states communicating most effectively. to an meamerican and foreign audiences. adcp has had some good conversations and it would be worth the conversation. >> i'm peter, retired career pd officer. my question is about the r structure. and how it evolves with the two bureaus and how you see the bureaus integrated and if i could do a follow up to an earlier question, when there's a crisis, are we in better shape to have a seat a at the table with policy decisions are made when foreign opinion equities are made key to the success and
failure of the policy. >> thank you. >> thank you for that question. >> the global of public affairs was focused on strategic communication. we knew there were functions within iip and pa that didn't necessarily fit within that sort of narrowly focuseded goal. when we looked at that, we looked at these really good functions. great public diplomacy tool ts, where would they fit best. part of it was thinking about with the bureau of education and affairs be a good home, and absolutely yes. so for example, the speakers program has been moved to the bureau of educational affairs as has american spaces and we'll we're really happy to have their support. other programs were moved to
other parts of the department and also to our resource office. under r. we looked at it holistically. >> how do you see the r structure evolving? there's not an undersecretary now. do we need one? how is the structure evolving? >> i'm filling in as the acting undersecretary, but just as we were talk iing about earlier wi change, it depends on the world and remit and how best to achieve our jobs. the family across the department largely have come up with a really strong organizational structure to achieve both public affairs and diplomacy.
a really strong set of teams an tools right nouchlt but certainly, we should always be open to a conversation about how we're improving and evolve tog make sure we're doing our jobs most effectively. >> wait, let's go in the back and i feel like -- >> thank you. the new director of the german information center. we went through a very similar process in berlin in the recent years. before this background, my question, will your institutional changes have effects on how you work in the field in the different countries? what we did or are about to do is set up a regional offices, public diplomacy offices for the various regions in the world. do you think in similar
direction? >> so we, the goal behind the merger was to really create a bureau that would be a good partner for the field. we to currently within the state department structure have regional public diplomacy offices that are the first point of contact, thely anson with our post. what we hope to do with the merger and as we continue to work the department, is to know that we're the best partner for our posts. >> there's one other. >> my name is jeffrey. my question, i have two questions. my first is how much of this merger will impack the daily lives o public officers and the second is you mentioned that the
bureau has been functional for three months now. what have been the challenges you've experienced and how did you address them? >> thank you for that question. that's a good one. so the impact on folks within iip e krrk a, different parts of our family here dommestically had quite an impact. it meant individuals were being reorganized into a new structure. maybe tapping different skill sets, working with different colleagues, so that had an impact. on the field, having worked in the field, i just want ed the know where i needed to get my information and programs so as long as i had a good point of contact and could do that, i was pretty happy. that's what we're trying to build up those relationships, or continue to strengthen those relationships with our posts, so they know who they come to for programming from eca, for creative content from gpa.
>> i think there's been challenges and opportunities, it was the largest restructuring in 20 years, so our too many and folks across the department really understood what erp koing. how we were provideing a servic to other folks in the field. so making sure communication was stop of mind with a large scale change, there's always pumpeds n in the road. we wanted to make sure to get those nuances right and we're still improve iing and learning with how we're doing that. the working groups were really important in getting it as close to right as possible in the beginning. we didn't design it ourselves. we leaned on more than 150 colleagues across new bureau to design it and come up with a best ways in which we worked.
>> hello. hello. my name is macon phillips. nice to see some familiar faces. my question is about the undersecretary which gets to intent. not b about the act of bringing those bureaus together. i know how challenging that is and i thank you for your service on that. but it's more leveling up and sort of saying what is public diplomacy and there's sort of a range that i found in my time, which was which is telling america's story, explaining america to the world then using the information space and public engagement as a tool for advancing foreign policy interests. i think we see that with gc and some of the radicalization efforts where it's less about louis armstrong and jazz and
understanding target audiences. of course the radicalization is just one policy priority. the only one i've heard though from a public policy standpoint and i'm interested in how you set about this work with the idea that public diplomacy was a tool to achieve goals whether than to educate people about america. to conclude, one of your pr predecessors got in trouble for talk iing about marketing. the catch up lady. some of you will remember h this. she was a corporate executive who saw marketing in public diplomacy and i did as well, but i found culturely that rubbed people the wrong way and i'd be interested in your experience. thanks. >> great to meet you. i've heard all the great things about the changes you brought. so it's nice to meet you. as far as using public diplomacy as a tool to achieve policy objectives, that's been at the center of the conversation.
because we know public diplomacy can want exist in a silo. it's less about how we're designed and more about how we work. that's been the critical part about setting up the working groups where we've leaned on public diplomacy officers, folks within public affairs and ip legacy to come up with the best ways to get gpa at the center of the conversation when policy conversations are happening. so we shape it from the front end along the way then continue to fine tune it so we are a partner in how that gets done versus just communicating on our own. >> go for it.
>> microphone. >> thank you. >> i want to discuss a little bit about values because this was brought up several times in the presentation and the concept we are promoting of values while at the same time, there's an enormous disagreement on both sides of the al about what those values are and how you practice them. i want to sort of settle on the idea of a free press and the idea of a free press needing to be adversary yal and how the executive branch handles that. when we talk about free press around the world, the value of organizations like voice of america, to explain how america works and these core values that are written into our constitution, how square that with some of the stams the president has made about the role of a free press and that it shouldn't necessarily be
adversarial and squaring that against a government wide reduction in the number of press briefings. briefly in the state department in 2009 working in the press office, we had a daily press briefing. that doesn't seem to happen anymore. once every two, three weeks, so how do we square the discussion of values with practice? >>. >> we expanded our media team, both internationally over here, our press team to make sure we are engagediing with the press. at the core and we engage with the press every day. our bull pen sits in the state department and we're interact wg them all time. the secretary has been at the podium several times in his one year plus at the state department so he'll couldn't to the really engage with the press both domestic and foreign every day.
with regards to briefings, there are multiple ways to do a press briefing. there's a podium and our spokesperson goes to the podium. we also do video briefings with international media. we have six regional media hubs across the world. london, manila, johannesburjoha london, dubai and miami. we're engaging with regional media uall across the world. if you look at our social media channels, our spokesperson is start iing to do more digital briefings from a digital podium if you will. so we're being creative and thinking about how best to communicate with the media directly to foreign audiences with the people united states across the suite of tool that is we have. >> we only have time for a few more questions. assistant secretary nicole, i mean excuse me, michelle and nicole have to leave shortly so just a couple more questions. is that okay?
>> yeah, let's keep going. over here. >> brandon and rues. a former u.s. nat staffer. participateded at the wilson center so it's been really cool to see the changes over the past couple of years. since leaving capitol hill, i've become an entrepreneur. among other things, i do casting for abc's shark tank and because of that, i participated as a speaker in public diplomacy programs in several countries. my question is what is your plan to engage folks like me who have participated as speakers as you transition, go to office, take up the new mantle, et cetera, how can we pr taarticipate even as speakers. i'm sure not everybody nerds out because of public diplomacy, but
i thought it would be interesting if you have thoughts on the plan. >> you know, so let me i'll talk about this speaker program because i love that program. it's excellent program. it's one of the programs we thought would be better houzed in the bureau of educational culture affairs. it is still operating. it is vibrant. we send speakers overseas daily it's a great way the message on u.s. policy priorities on u.s. american values. to foreign audiences. it's a great program. as far as how we we engage folks and keep it going, i'm looking to my colleagues anded see federal government there's a way to continue that conversation and get your input. this is an accident first step in hearing your questions, but it would be nice to have additional opportunities to do that, so thank you for the question. >> all the way in the back.
>> thank you. i wondered if you could talk a little bit about shareamerica.gov. it's a product i've seen. i don't feel like it responds to the kind of guidance you were talking about in terms of authenticity and brightness and truth and so forth and in fact, in my experience, in seven embassies overseas, i cannot imagine. never shown this to anyone, but i wonder if you could talk a little bit about not just what it's for, but how you control that and make it fit the needs of embassies and public affairs offices in the field. >> so share america is a platform and repository for content to be used by our posts overseas. our hubs have also used some of the content as well. it runs the gamut between
communicating about key foreign policy ideas, but also american values, so any given day, you'll find a mix of content on that platform. it is publicly acceccess bable you can go to the platform, but it's not meant to be a destination site. so it's a place where our posts can pull content so that they can be sure that they've got vibrant content for their digital platforms. we are continuing to look at how we best use that tool and what does creative content look like, so the conversation about what share america becomes, where it goes, is part of what we're looking at through this merger and how we most effectively get the tools we need. i think we have to cut it off there.
weeknights, we're feature ago preview of what's available everybody weekend. tonight, gary aid lman covers the whole civil war in 56 minutes. this talk kicks off a night of programs from a symposium. you can watch beginning at 8:00 eastern on cspan 3 and enjoy american history tv this week and every weekend on cspan 3. in his first public remarks since leaving his post as national security adviser, john bolton discussed u.s. north korea relations at an event hosted by the center for strategic and international studies. that's tonight at 8:00 eastern on cspan. up next, retired general joseph otel who served during the obama
an trump administrations sat down with an interview with michelle flournoy. they discussed china, russia and iran as well as current technology and intelligence. this is half an hour. good afternoon, everybody and thank you so much for that warm introduction and thanks to the sponsors both insta and afcia for pulling such an amaze ing group of professionals together this afternoon. it is truly an honor for me to chair the stage with the general. he was a fantastic colleague, but also a wonderful role model of the servant leader for all of us who were in government. you served as central commend during probably the busiest time ever for our