f_0010088_7835 - American Diplomacy and the Foreign...

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Fall 2008 The Ambassadors REVIEW 51 American Diplomacy and the Foreign Language Challenge Ruth A. Whiteside, Ph.D. Director, Foreign Service Institute United States Department of State t’s an exciting—and challenging—time to be a diplomat. America’s diplomats are reaching out to local populations as never before, and are working to support economic prosperity and development in countries throughout the world. For every challenge, the key to outreach, understanding and impact is the ability to speak directly to people in their own language and the capability to understand local perspectives. In this important time, this crucial capacity to communicate and connect empowers US diplomats to better address the world’s critical challenges. Secretary of State Rice has made it a priority for all diplomats overseas to conduct outreach to communities and populations that are not our “traditional” points of contact— youth, people living outside the major cities, and key influencers in a society. She directed the movement of over 100 positions to key areas where she wanted to increase the US presence. She hoped to bolster US impact and influence in countries like China and India, and throughout the Middle East, South Asia and elsewhere. For the first time, State opened Media Hubs in Dubai and Brussels focused on expanding the US presence on local media, and augmented an office in London focused on the Arabic media. The Dubai Hub is staffed by two Arabic-speaking Foreign Service officers whose full-time job is to get on Arabic language television and radio to present the US perspective. It also supports efforts by Arabic-speaking Ambassadors and officers throughout the region as they use media to get out their messages. In Brussels, the Hub programs officials and visitors on television and radio throughout Europe, greatly enhancing the US presence and perspective on national and local media. American Presence Posts (APPs)—where one diplomat lives and works in cities outside the capitals—have expanded American outreach into key regional population
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This note was uploaded on 01/25/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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f_0010088_7835 - American Diplomacy and the Foreign...

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