PSA/USIP Host Tara Sonenshine, former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

On September 17th, the Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) hosted a bipartisan discussion for congressional staff only with Tara Sonenshine, the former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. This discussion will focus on how U.S. policymakers make use of public diplomacy to impact foreign policy, from today’s events unfolding in Syria to adapting to 21st Century technology that requires reaching new publics and using new foreign policy tools. Sonenshine, who is currently a distinguished fellow in the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University, also spoke about her experiences at the State Department and answer questions in this candid, off-the-record discussion.

Tara Sonenshine served as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs until July 2013. She is currently a distinguished fellow at George Washington University. Prior to joining the State Department, she served as Executive Vice President of the United States Institute of Peace, was a strategic communications adviser to many international organizations including USIP, the International Crisis Group, Internews, CARE, The American Academy of Diplomacy, and the International Women’s Media Foundation, and received 10 News Emmy Awards in broadcast journalism. Ms. Sonenshine served in various capacities at the White House during the Clinton Administration, including Transition Director and Director of Foreign Policy Planning for the National Security Council and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Communications for the NSC.

This was the eighth event of the PSA/USIP Congressional Briefing Series – topics on International Conflict Resolution and Prevention, an educational program designed to provide congressional staff opportunities to engage with leading experts and fellow Capitol Hill staffers in bipartisan forums. The program aims to build cross-party relationships, encourage bipartisan dialogue, and equip staff with new perspectives on critical issues in the international conflict resolution and prevention field.

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