First State Department "New Media Technology" Delegation Travels to Iraq

Press Statement
Robert Wood
Acting Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 20, 2009

The Department of State is facilitating the travel to Baghdad, Iraq of a delegation of nine senior high-technology company representatives Sunday, April 19 to April 23. This will be the first delegation of its kind to Iraq. While in Iraq, the group will explore new opportunities to support Iraqi government and non-government stakeholders in Iraq’s emerging new media industry.


The delegation includes a mix of CEOs, Vice-Presidents and senior representatives from AT&T, Google, Twitter, Howcast, Meetup, You Tube, Automattic/Wordpress, and Blue State Digital. During their visit to Iraq, they will provide conceptual input as well as ideas on how new technologies can be used to build local capacity, foster greater transparency and accountability, build upon anti-corruption efforts, promote critical thinking in the classroom, scale-up civil society, and further empower local entities and individuals by providing the tools for network building. As Iraqis think about how to integrate new technology as a tool for smart power, we view this as an opportunity to invite the American technology industry to be part of this creative genesis.


During the trip the delegation will meet with representatives from the Government of Iraq, the public and private education sectors, Iraqi technology companies, and groups active in Iraqi civil society.


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a strong proponent of using the full range of tools, including emerging new media and communication technologies, to leverage capabilities that will allow for diplomacy not just with governments, but also with people and between different societies.


PRN: 2009/349