Notice of Meeting: U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
May 3, 2017


The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy will hold a public meeting from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at George Washington University’s Elliot School for International Affairs (Lindner Commons, 1957 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20052).

The meeting will discuss “Echo Chambers, Artificial Intelligence, and Bot-Driven Disinformation: New Challenges in Public Diplomacy.” This session will examine how public diplomacy practitioners need to adjust strategies and tactics for modern information ecosystems, including automated disinformation campaigns, algorithmic bias, and the proliferation and diversity of foreign propaganda efforts.

Congressman Mike Rogers, former Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (2011-2015), will offer the keynote address, followed by a panel of experts:

  • Matt Chessen, Foreign Service Science, Technology, and Foreign Policy Fellow at George Washington University
  • Tom Cochran, former White House, State Department Technology Lead and Acquia’s Vice President and Chief Digital Strategist
  • Markos Kounalakis, J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution
  • Ethan Porter, Assistant Professor, George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs
  • Ory Rinat, State Department Transition Team Digital Lead

Can Public Diplomacy Survive the Internet?, the Commission’s latest report, will be available at the event.

This meeting is open to the public, Members, and staff of Congress, the State Department, Department of Defense, the media, and other governmental and non-governmental organizations. To attend and make any requests for reasonable accommodation, e-mail Michelle Bowen at BowenMC1@state.gov by 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 8, 2017. Please arrive for the meeting by 10:15 a.m. to allow for a prompt meeting start.

The United States 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. It also 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 Advisory Commission consists of seven members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The members 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 Advisory Commission.

The current members of the Advisory Commission are: Mr. Sim Farar of California, Chairman; Mr. William Hybl of Colorado, Vice Chairman; Ambassador Lyndon Olson of Texas; Ambassador Penne Korth-Peacock of Texas; Ms. Anne Terman Wedner of Illinois; and Ms. Georgette Mosbacher of New York. One seat on the Commission is currently vacant.

To request further information about the meeting or the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, please contact its Executive Director, Shawn Powers, at PowersSM@state.gov.