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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Public Meeting in Washington, DC, May 8, 2014

May 1, 2014


The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy will hold a public meeting on “Disasters, Wars, and Cultural Heritage Preservation: The Role of Arts and Culture in National Security” from 10:00a.m. until 11:30a.m., Thursday, May 8, 2014 in Lindner Family Commons (sixth floor) of The George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs at 1957 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the whole-of-government approach to activities that intend to protect foreign cultures, and the value of arts and culture promotion in U.S. foreign policy. It will feature Molly Fannon, Director of the Office of International Relations at the Smithsonian Institution; Maria Kouroupas, Director of the Cultural Heritage Center at the U.S. Department of State; and Rick Ruth, Senior Advisor in the Education and Cultural Affairs Bureau at the U.S. Department of State. Other representatives from the U.S. Government who work on cultural heritage preservation will also be in attendance.

The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy appraises U.S. Government activities intended to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics. The Advisory Commission may conduct studies, inquiries, and meetings, as it deems necessary. It may assemble and disseminate information and issue reports and other publications, subject to the approval of the Chairperson, in consultation with the Executive Director. The Advisory Commission may undertake foreign travel in pursuit of its studies and coordinate, sponsor, or oversee projects, studies, events, or other activities that it deems desirable and necessary in fulfilling its functions.

The Commission consists of seven members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The members of the Commission shall represent the public interest and shall be selected from a cross section of educational, communications, cultural, scientific, technical, public service, labor, business, and professional backgrounds. Not more than four members shall be from any one political party. The President designates a member to chair the Commission.

The current members of the Commission are: Mr. William Hybl of Colorado, Chairman; Mr. Sim Farar of California, Vice Chairman; Ambassador Lyndon Olson of Texas, Vice Chairman; Ambassador Penne Korth-Peacock of Texas; Ms. Anne Terman Wedner of Illinois; and Ms. Lezlee Westine of Virginia. One seat on the Commission is currently vacant. The following individual has been nominated to the Commission but awaits Senate confirmation as of this writing: Mr. Alfredo Balsera of Florida.

The meeting will be open to the public, Members and staff of Congress, the State Department, Defense Department, the media, and other governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Seating is limited. To attend this event, please RSVP to To request further information, or to request reasonable accommodation, please contact Katherine Brown, Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, at

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