The Office of Strategic Communications and Outreach (SCO) supports the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation by directing and furthering its public diplomacy, public affairs, and congressional outreach. SCO assists in the development of strategic communications planning for all Bureau outreach activities, including major international meetings and events such as those pertaining to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and the Nuclear Security Summits. SCO works closely with the Office of the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, and the Bureaus of Educational and Cultural Affairs, International Information Programs, and Public Affairs, to explain and promote the USG’s international security policy.
Media Relations: SCO serves as the primary point of contact for all media inquiries and interview requests for the Bureau. SCO works closely with the Bureau of Public Affairs and the Office of the Spokesperson to provide regular press releases, updates, and information for Department press briefings.
Outreach to Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) and the Private Sector: SCO serves as ISN’s liaison to nongovernmental organizations and the private sector, and facilitates regular meetings, roundtables and conferences to bring together academic groups, think thanks, advocacy and other nongovernment entities with Bureau officials. SCO actively engages with NGOs though Department-hosted conferences, on the margins of international meetings through side events, and through track II diplomacy.
Congressional Relations SCO develops relationships with Congress to further the Bureau’s agenda. The office handles all aspects of the Bureau’s interaction with Capitol Hill, including supporting Bureau principals in hearings and briefings. The office also is responsible for managing the Bureau’s required reporting to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Public Diplomacy: Working closely with US embassies and overseas missions, SCO supports outreach to foreign audiences on key international security issues. Through the use of publications, traditional media and online tools, speakers programs, and digital video platforms, SCO helps connect the Bureau with the overseas public. SCO also helps arrange speaking opportunities and media availability for Bureau principals while on foreign travel to explain international security and nonproliferation policy to foreign audiences.
Next Generation Outreach and New Media Engagement: SCO engages with students and young professionals through regular briefings, and by utilizing digital media. Since 2009, The Strategic Communications and Outreach Office has facilitated a major annual conference to bring young people together with senior Department officials and nongovernment representatives to discuss key international security themes.
For Press Inquiries:
For Congressional Inquiries: Gonzalo Suarez, 202-647-4651, SuarezGO@state.gov
For NGO, Private Sector, and “Next Generation” Outreach: Erin Harbaugh, 202-736-4100 HarbaughEE@state.gov
Director: Margo Squire
ISN Assistant Secretary Countryman meets with young experts on the margins of the 2013 NPT PrepCom in Geneva. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Mission Geneva) - State Dept Image