Friday, May 29, 2009

21st Century Statecraft: Secretary Clinton asks Americans to be "Citizen Ambassadors"

Fresh on the heels of our launch of the U.S. Government Channel on YouTube last week, Secretary Clinton just posted a video to the State Department's YouTube channel on the topic of "21st Century Statecraft." Aimed at Americans, the video lives on State's long-running public affairs YouTube channel. The video not only outlines the department's efforts to use online tools to engage in public diplomacy, but it also serves as a call to action for citizens to "share experiences" and become citizen ambassadors on their own.

Secretary Clinton has shown she's engaged online by holding an online town hall during the Summit of the Americas, and she's signaled she's serious about using new tools in diplomacy by hiring Alec Ross, a tech entrepreneur, as her "Senior Advisor for Innovation". But this video seems to be a recognition that, while leaders can use online tools for diplomacy just like President Obama recently did with Iran, ultimately the meaningful conversations that bridge borders happen between citizens, not their elected officials.


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