Friday, August 18, 2017

USC Center on Public Diplomacy - CPD Daily (August 17)

PD News Logo
August 17, 2017 via email
Apple, LinkedIn, Spotify and Twitter have joined a growing chorus of technology companies to hit out at the far right and Donald Trump's attempt to put white supremacists and leftwing counter-demonstrators at Saturday’s Charlottesville protest on the same moral plane. [...] Apple also pledged to match two-for-one employee donations to human rights groups until 30 September, and said it would roll out donation systems for the SPLC through its iTunes store. Read More...
A new project aims to promote co-operation between biodiversity researchers across the UK and six Latin American countries. Funded by the British Council’s Newton Fund and in partnership with the São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), Researcher Links aims to enhance scientific collaboration by promoting an international exchange of researchers between universities in UK, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Brazil. Read More...
Egypt could become one of the world’s top Bitcoin trading hubs within weeks thanks to the launch of the country’s first cryptocurrency exchange. [...] The project is the brainchild of Alexandrian entrepreneurs Rami Khalil and Omar Abdelrasoul, who seized the opportunity to capitalize on the country’s growing demand for Bitcoin. Read More...
The "What's Up!" Luxembourg app was released in November last year for Apple and Android, and since then has grown substantially to become an app chock-a-block of events throughout Luxembourg and beyond. [...] A good feature of the app is that once the user has signed in, they are able to create their own events for all to see. A free way of publicizing what's going on in the region. Read More...
Within 24 hours of of hearing from the country’s national security adviser that Sierra Leone needed food for survivors, Israel had sent supplies expected to provide nourishment for three days. [...] The ambassador emphasized the importance of getting the aid into the country quickly, in order to illustrate to desperate citizens that help was on its way and there was reason for hope. Read More...
Saudi Arabia announced on Thursday that it is reopening its border with Qatar to allow Qataris to attend the hajj, despite a monthslong rift between Doha and four Arab countries led by Riyadh that prompted both sides to trade accusations of politicizing the pilgrimage. Read More...

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Beduin diplomat sanctioned over threat to take Israel to The Hague

Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post

Image from article, with caption: Israeli Beduin diplomat Ismail Khaldi speaks at Rutgers.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely initiated disciplinary measures on Thursday against a Beduin diplomat who wrote and then removed and apologized for a Facebook post slamming Israel for real-estate policies in his northern village of Khawaled.

Ismail Khaldi, Israel’s first Beduin diplomat, accused the Zevulun Regional Council and the Israel Lands Authority in an English Facebook post on Tuesday of “Beduin heritage cleansing” because the council plans to sell plots in the village near Haifa to people from outside the village, “including Arab real-estate mach’ers/traders.”

The result of this policy, he said, is that local residents won’t be able to afford the land, “leading to the elimination/ cleansing of Beduin heritage, tradition and norms.”

Khaldi continued, “What to do? Keep fighting. Even if we need to go to the ICJ (International Court of Justice!) We we won’t allow the council to turn Khawaled into an isolated ghetto!!” Hotovely said the ministry “will not tolerate a situation where an Israel diplomat gives backing to the industry of lies against Israel.” Khaldi currently works in the ministry’s department of public diplomacy.

Hotovely characterized as “unprecedented” a situation where an Israeli diplomat calls for action against Israel at The Hague, and said that it must be dealt with severely.

Following Hotovely’s statement, Khaldi posted an apology on his Facebook page.

He said that he posted the original comment “in a moment of anger.” ...

Immigration puts Middle Eastern students off studying in US

Roberta Pennington,

Report finds Trump Muslim ban and 'extreme vetting' have a detrimental effect on candidates from the Middle East who voice fears for their safety if they lived in the US

Image from article, with caption: Arizona State University is among the top five destinations for undergraduate Emirati students, according to the US Embassy’s Education USA office.

Education officials in the United States fear there will be a fall in the number of students from the Middle East this autumn.

Donald Trump’s presidency and US government’s ban on citizens from six Muslim countries – Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen – and the “extreme vetting” of visa applicants and increased hate crimes against Muslims have made some feel insecure about studying in the US.
Uncertainty about immigration policies “raises valid concerns as to whether students from the Middle East may be deterred from US study”, said a report published last month by the Institute of International Education, a non-profit organisation that advocates international education.
“Middle-Eastern students expressed many concerns to international admissions professionals at US higher education institutions,” said the report, Shifting Tides? Understanding International Student Yield for Fall 2017.
“Securing and maintaining a visa is the biggest concern among these students and was reported by 46 per cent of institutions, while feeling welcome in the US was almost an equal concern, with 41 per cent of institutions noting so from their conversations with students.”
Twenty-three per cent of international advisers said students from the Middle East were concerned about their safety. And “80 per cent of institutions responded that physical safety was the most pronounced concern for Indian students”.
Read more:
Sanjeev Verma, chief executive of Dubai education consultancy Intelligent Partners, which helps to place students from the UAE in universities abroad, said he would not be surprised if the Trump effect caused a dip in the number of Middle East students enrolled in American universities.
“Security is a concern for every­body and that is the only thing that has changed since Trump came in,” Mr Verma said. “I would actually say it is the perception of security, that people feel it is going to be unsafe and not secure, that is the biggest change.”

One recent report on anti-­Muslim hate crime from the US indicated a 91 per cent increase in the first half of this year when compared with the same period last year.
Mr Verma said that shortly after Donald Trump was elected, some of his clients decided against travelling to the US for education, opting for Canada.
“I think everybody was frightened,” he said. “We got a jolt because he came in with this big bang: ‘I’m going to stop this, I’m going to stop that’.”
Shortly after the election, some US universities joined to launch the #YouAreWelcomeHere social media campaign to show support for international students, and promote American campuses as diverse, friendly and safe.
“Fortunately, we are seeing considerable efforts from US colleges and universities to maximise their international enrolment for the coming academic year and ensure their current international students have the assistance they need to gain a quality education while in the US,” said Jill Welch, of the association of international educators.
“Their engagement – such as airport pick-ups, meet-and-greets, seminars on visa policy changes and partnering students with peer mentors – has yielded some very positive, tangible results. We commend international educators because they have made every effort to ensure the US is a safe, welcoming and inclusive place to learn and grow.”
More than a million international students enrolled in colleges or universities across the US in the 2015-2016 academic year, the Institute of International Education said.
International students injected more than US$35 billion, or Dh128.56bn, into the US economy in 2015, the department of commerce said.
In 2015-2016, students from the Middle East and North Africa made up about 10.3 per cent of the international student population, with 108,227. Of these, 2,920 were Emiratis.
“Education is a cornerstone of the strong and enduring relationship between the United States and the United Arab Emirates,” said Scott Bolz, US embassy public affairs officer in Abu Dhabi. “Promoting US higher education and encouraging more Emiratis to study in the US is one of our top public diplomacy priorities.”
Through its EducationUSA advising services, the US embassy in Abu Dhabi offers prospective students free advice about studying in the US.
“The consular section is involved in outreach activities, helping students to understand the visa requirements and application process,” said Mohini Madgavkar, cultural affairs officer for the US embassy.
Arizona State University, which had the highest number of international students – 12,751 – among public universities in 2015-2016, is among the top five destinations for undergraduate Emirati students, the US embassy’s office said.
About 20 per cent of the university’s degree-seeking international students are from the Middle East and this autumn it is expecting to welcome about 160 Emiratis, the same number as each of the past four years, said Kent Hopkins, its vice president of enrolment.
ASU admits students from a variety of cultures, and takes great pride in our student body, which includes students from over 135 nations,” he said.
The institute report was based on a survey of international student professionals at 165 US colleges and universities, conducted in May.
The survey also sought to measure the international student yield rate, or the percentage of admitted students who committed to attend US colleges and universities, as of May 15.
Respondents were asked to report the number of admitted international students who had submitted official acceptance letters along with a registration deposit.
The survey findings suggested a decline of only 2 per cent in this year’s yield rate of undergraduates in the US compared with last year. Although this provides an early snapshot of enrolment, actual figures will not be known until colleges and universities return this month.
Mr Verma said if there was, as he expected, a decline in enrolments of students from the Middle East this autumn, he thinks it will be short-lived.
“There was a little bit of initial [election] reaction but it’s calmed down,” he said.“I am fairly confident it will bounce back sooner than later. The US has a lot to offer.["]

New Media Magic in an Internet Age

image from

Monday, August 14th 2017
Four years ago, a school in a sparsely populated South Carolina county had a dream:  “Why not build an on-line bridge via the Internet, so elementary school kids could embark on a common learning experience with their contemporaries in a sister school in Kenya?”
That was the start, in Allendale County, of a venture that enriches the lives of youngsters from kindergarten through sixth grade at least once a week on line via real-time on line communications.  The idea:  to reach and exchange insights with students around the world via regularly-scheduled video conversations to learn about each other’s cultures as part of drills on social studies, history, and mathematics.
Phil Noble is a co-founder and chief architect of a newly-christened organization based in South Carolina.  It’s called World Class Scholars.  Mr. Noble recently outlined the stunning growth of his movement at a forum at the American Foreign Service Association August 14 in Washington co-sponsored by the Public Diplomacy Council and USC’s Annenberg School.
World Class Scholars today matches South Carolina students with their contemporaries in 200 schools in 26 countries.  Those reached include Algeria, Argentina, China, Cyprus, Colombia, Finland, India, Ireland, Mali, Morocco, Mongolia, Senegal, Spain, and Tanzania.  Elementary schools in Croatia, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates also have asked about joining.
The system works like this:  World Class Scholars scans on-line sources daily for inquiries from elementary school teachers abroad interested in linking up via Google hangouts.  They follow up by engaging these teachers and counterparts in South Carolina and other states in the U.S. and suggesting they set mutually agreed hours with partner schools abroad for class interchanges each week.
Many types of on-line connections are used, including telephone lines as well as Facebook and Twitter exchanges.  Teachers on each side of the ocean jointly agree on a curriculum that best meets the needs of their students.  Today, there are learning exercises in more than 26 countries, with themes agreed upon by American pupils, teachers and their newfound friends abroad.  Examples include agriculture and water (Kenya), building businesses (Argentina), social studies (Ghana), basketball and sports (Croatia), photography (Finland, Cyprus and Ireland).  Eventually, World Class Scholars may add high schools to their clientele.
Does it work?   Phil Noble has no doubts.  In his words:  “We provide a turnkey solution with everything the schools need --- partner schools, technology platforms, training, how-to materials and ongoing support.  At a minimum, schools need only a single computer with an Internet link, and the program expands for classes with multiple devices.”
As one Allendale, S.C. mother put it:   “When I wake up in the morning, it’s the first thing I think of.  Those kids are establishing global friendships.  Amazing, those kids in Port Victoria, Kenya!   We exchange ideas to build and strengthen relationships and even exchange packets of seeds for plants via trans-Atlantic mail.  We’re on with Kenya at least once a week.  Wow!”
The World Class Scholars budget has reached $600,000 this year, and Phil Noble hopes with private contributions to expand it to $1,000,000 dollars annually by 2019.  To test out the impact of WCS, he recently went to the Allendale elementary school in the program and asked the librarian if he could borrow any book on Africa.  “Unfortunately we don’t have any on the shelves,” the librarian exclaimed.  “They’ve all been checked out.”
Exchanges of knowledge, on the move, in America and overseas.  Intriguing that education can work both ways.  Correspondent Jan Sluizer in San Francisco recently met a returned U.S. Peace Corps volunteer who had finished a tour in Costa Rica several years ago. The volunteer, Chase Adam, recalled riding on buses in the town of Watsi, Costa Rica.   How discouraged he was to see impoverished beggars passing a hat down the aisle and receiving no contributions from the other passengers!
Until one day, he noticed how a woman had spectacular success as her hat was passed around a bus, and wondered why.  Turns out the woman, an anguished Mom, had included in her collection recepticle a little red folder that summarized her son’s medical record.  It was a brief description of her son’s life-threatening ailment, easily curable.  Nearly every passenger on the bus made a contribution.  And of course, Peace Corps volunteer Chase Adam did, too.
Soon after returning from his tour to California, he organized a website to make it easy for Americans to contribute to those abroad in need of medical help.  Appropriately, it was christened The Watsi Fund.  In Chase’s words:  “You can go on the website and see photos and stories of patients who need health care, but can’t afford it.  Any you can donate as little as five dollars and help directly fund the cost of their life-changing medical procedures.”
Watsi works today works with a network of non-profit medical organizations in 23 countries.  They identify patients in financial need, and provide the care once it’s funded.  They work with doctors and health professionals in nearly two dozen countries, including Cambodia, Guatemala, Kenya, Nepal and Cambodia.  Criteria are simple. “The cures,” says Chase Adams, must cost less than $1,500 and significantly improve the patients’ health.”   Over several years, Watsi has raised $7 million dollars. Donors can follow their contributions via the Watsi website from start to finish, as well as their impact.
Former White House press secretary Mike McCurry recently had high praise for the World Class Scholars program, but his words might well describe the Watsi Fund as well.   As Mr. McCurry put it: “There’s so much about the need for high quality education, but the idea is that you’re going to take it globally and really make those connections and help us understand what needs are there.   We are living increasingly in a globally interdependent world economy and projects such as the World Class Scholars program (as well as Watsi) go right to the heart of how you begin to break down those barriers.”
Alan L. Heil Jr. is a member of the Public Diplomacy Council and retired deputy director of VOA.  He is the author of  Voice of America: A History, Columbia University Press, 2003, and a PDC anthology, Local Voices/Global Perspectives: Challenges Ahead for U.S. International Media, 2008

Alan Heil

E-Government: Creating public value with Tweets and Likes

Sebastian Woller, Digital Diplomacy

According to Twiplomacy, All but one of the G20 governments have an official Twitter presence.

E-Government refers to the use of information technologies by government agencies. By integrating different and new technologies, such as cloud computing and social media, governments are able to open up and give form to new public engagement and relationships. E-Government usually describes relationships across 3 different modalities: Government to Citizens (G2C), Government to Businesses (G2B), and Government to Government (G2G).
According to the World Bank’s e-Government website, hosted by the e-Government Practice Group of the Information & Communication Technologies Sector Unit, the goals of e-Government can be shortened as follows:
1. Reduce Costs
2. Promote Economic development
3. Enhance Transparency and Accountability
4. Improve Service Delivery
5. Improve Public Administration
6. Facilitate an e-Society
The Public Governance Committee states that since the year 2000, more and more governments are looking for means to align technological opportunities with public demands. For example, in Germany, the national employment agency the “Bundesagentur für Arbeit”, supports job seekers and employers by collaborating with the online professional network Xing.
In order to increase economic and social value, innovation, and trust, governments are quickly learning to capture the opportunities of new social media platforms.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter

“Without the tweets, I wouldn’t be here… I have over 100m [followers] between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Over 100m. I don’t have to go to the fake media.”- President Trump, in an interview with the Financial Times in April 2017

Facebook and Twitter are today one of the most popular social media platforms. As of the end of 2016, Facebook had 1.86 billion monthly active users worldwide. In 2016, this was an equivalent of around 25% of the world’s population. Similar to President Trump, many have gone beyond Twitter and Facebook to reach new target audiences, embracing platforms such as Snapchat, WhatsApp and Telegram. World leaders use these platforms to address citizens’ rights, facilitate engagement of all age groups, and to clarify policies.

Most Engaged World Leaders in 2017

Social media is known to empower individuals, influences political agendas, and policy processes. Also, it facilities the discussion of elections and political campaigns. As many countries are redesigning and implementing new e-government strategies, it is necessary to reflect upon public expectations; failing to do so, may not only result in a loss of trust in government, but also a a perception that the government is out of touch with technological trends.
E-Government, i.e. social media, offers new opportunities to reduce political exclusion, and strengthen democracy. In The Origins of Political Order, Francis Fukuyama describes and follows the development and origins of democratic societies. In his preface, he highlights that in 1973, only 45 of the world’s 151 countries were counted “free”, by Freedom House. Today, in 2017, 87 countries are rated free. This slow, yet great shift to democracy and freedom may be a result of formerly passive individuals organizing themselves and participating in the political life of their societies.
Francis Fukuyama, the Origins of Political Order
OECD, Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate
World Bank Group, e-government
World Bank Group Population data for 2016
OECD, Working Papers on Public Governance (№26)

Hi, I am Sebastian, I am currently a student of International Management, an enthusiastic reader, and curious mind. I grew up, visited, and lived in different countries and continents; My professional experience includes consulting multinational and international organizations. Furthermore, as an intern at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Berlin, I analyzed EU budgetary issues and EU investments.
The best way to interact with me is through LinkedIn

Senior Budget Manager - SCA/PPD in Washington, District Of Columbia

Senior Budget Manager - SCA/PPD
Tracking Code
Job Description
Major Responsibilities:
  • Management and coordination of the SCA/PPD domestic budget, to include Afghanistan and Pakistan. Provides detailed advice on budget issues to Grants Division Chief, the Deputy Director, or the Office Director for final decisions;
  • Management and coordination of the SCA/PPD overseas Public Affairs Section budgets for the eleven countries of South and Central Asia, to include Afghanistan and Pakistan. Provides detailed to Grants Division Chief, the Deputy Director, or the Office Director for final decisions;
  • Financial management of over $80 million in annual public diplomacy funding within the South and Central Asia region, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. Provides detailed advice to Grants Division Chief, the Deputy Director, or the Office Director for final decisions;
  • Financial coordination of over $300 million in active public diplomacy grants within the South and Central Asia region, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. Provides detailed advice to Grants Division Chief, the Deputy Director, or the Office Director for final decisions;
  • Coordination of public diplomacy programming and financing across numerous State Department Bureaus, to include the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), other U.S. government entities, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and the U.S. diplomatic missions in Pakistan and Afghanistan, per PAS and PPD leadership requests;
  • Development and coordination of region-wide annual funding requests through all stages, including initial requests and narrative justifications; revisions to pass-backs, through post-appropriation operating plans. Provides detailed advice to Grants Division Chief, the Deputy Director, or the Office Director for final decisions;
  • Development and coordination of congressional notifications and interagency transfers for Afghanistan and Pakistan for approval and submission;
  • Preparation and coordination of financial reports for submission by leadership to Congress and senior Departmental management.
  • Management from start to finish of all public diplomacy Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) for the region in coordination with PPD and PAS leadership;
  • Back-up for coordination only for the SCA/PPD Grants Division Chief as needed.
Required Skills
The Senior Budget Manager must have the following skills:
Mastery of the principles, theories, concepts and practices of public diplomacy program grants management to oversee and implement programs for South and Central Asia, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mastery of accounting and budgeting principles in order to maintain, analyze and brief managers on multimillion dollar budgets.
Knowledge of the functions, procedures, policies, program goals, and priorities of the Office, SCA Bureau, SRAP, and Department to ensure the effective implementation of goal oriented public diplomacy programs for South and Central Asia, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Ability to review and evaluate requests for proposals and grant proposals for international public diplomacy and public affairs projects in accordance with policy and procedural requirements and the objectives and priorities of the SCA public diplomacy and public affairs program.
Ability to monitor and oversee a variety of public diplomacy and public affairs initiatives to ensure compliance with requirements and to ensure progress is being made toward accomplishing project objectives in a timely manner.
Ability to analyze complex problems and issues, identify pertinent factors, devise optimal solutions, and oversee implementation of required actions.
Ability to provide sound and effective advice to management on a wide variety of policy and budgetary issues related to the SCA Bureau and SRAP’s public diplomacy program.
Ability to plan, organize, and manage project including developing plans and objectives, directing activities, supervising staff, managing resources, and accounting for results.
Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, to provide advice, guidance, and assistance, plan and coordinate activities, establish and maintain liaison, present and defend recommendations, and reconcile differing and conflicting viewpoints.
Manages other task authorized by Government Task Manager that fall within the scope of this task order.
Required Experience
Required Experience/Background
  • U.S. Citizenship required.
  • Experience with implementation and management of exchanges and public diplomacy programming.
  • Knowledge of State Department regulations and procedures.
  • Excellent computer skills.
  • Excellent spoken and written English.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Must have a flexible, team-oriented approach to work.
Job Location
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Position Type

uReport: Rexdale youth organization sends 2 to Latvia

Image from article, with caption: Rexdale's Developing Young Leaders of Tomorrow, Today participant Tashanique Glasgow has been accepted into this fall's cohort of young diplomats in Riga, Latvia from Sept. 3 to 8. - Candies Kotchapaw/photo

Developing Young Leaders of Tomorrow, Today founder Candies Kotchapaw has been accepted into this fall's cohort of young diplomats in Riga, Latvia from Sept. 3 to 8.

Rexdale's Developing Young Leaders of Tomorrow, Today was founded to be a one-of-a-kind project, exposing youth from marginalized communities to unique opportunities that teach leadership skills, positively impacting their lives and communities.

The Young Diplomats Forum brings together youth leaders globally to foster the next generation of foreign policy shapers. This program enables youth to be more aware of cultural, political and geographical forces that influence policy decisions, as each forum is held in various countries. In turn, youth bring back to their home countries and communities skills, knowledge and experience that can help to shape regional and domestic policies.

Two Developing Young Leaders of Tomorrow, Today (DYLOTT) participants have been accepted into this fall’s cohort of young diplomats in Riga, Latvia, from Sept. 3 to 8. They are DYLOTT participant Tashanique Glasgow and founder Candies Kotchapaw.

Delegates will get the opportunity to engage with senior officials in international affairs including: H.E. Hans Brask, the ambassador of Denmark to Latvia; H.E. Inara Murniece, Speaker of the Saeima (parliament); and Prof. Adrian Kendry, former senior advisor to the 12th secretary general of NATO and member of the board of the Global Diplomatic Forum.

Main highlights of the week will be: diplomacy in the 21st century with ambassadors and leading experts; a public diplomacy and Nation Brand session by the Global Diplomatic Forum; the role of media and think tanks in foreign policy; and participating in policy development and smart diplomacy workshops. We are excited that there will be representatives from Canada who will get to engage with foreign policy that will be a definitely benefit to Canadian society.

You can partner with DYLOTT to sponsor their delegates and learn more about the program here: You can contact the DYLOTT founder for more information at