Saturday, February 21, 2009

White Oak Recommendation

"White Oak Recommendations on Public Diplomacy"

"Nothing New in White Oak Recommendations on Public Diplomacy" by Steven Corman

"A Proposed Strategy for Public Diplomacy" by Spencer Ackerman

"White Oak Recommendations: Rethinking Public Diplomacy" by Matt Armstrong

"Reinventing America's Public Diplomacy 2009: Step by Step" by Pat Kushlis

"White Oak: We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat (PD") by Craig Hayden

Recently, a group of seventy diplomatic leaders conferred in White Oak to devise the public diplomacy plan for the new Obama administration and this past week they submitted their recommendations.  While some critics claim that the recommendation did not include an action plan or means to reach the prescribed goals, the proposal does shed light on the next four to eight years.  Instead of holding the ideas set forth to a vote, the commission reached a consensus.  This brings together the factions of opinion that have popped up in the last administration, signifying a unified step forward and newfound attention on public diplomacy.  Under the leadership of a charismatic and visible leader, public diplomacy has gained a new position.  The "White Oak Recommendations on Public Diplomacy" stress the need for a concerted, planned, funded, and leadership driven approach to public diplomacy.  While our class may find the ten recommendations obvious, the coming together of experts and the dedication to increasing funds has put a spotlight on public diplomacy. 


The Areas Addressed in the Recommendation:

-         stakeholder: holistic approach

-         outreach: holistic approach

-         clear structure

-         well-qualified and staffed personnel

-         increase reliance on technology/ communication

-         international exchanges

-         role of citizen diplomacy

-         increased funding

-         role of Congress

-         leadership and organization

1 comment:

  1. Learning from White Oak

    Earlier this evening, Matt Armstrong called for the “Creation of Public Diplomacy Discourse and Research.” This online bank of knowledge includes blogging and posting, research libraries, calendars of events and many other areas based on the “Small Wars Journal” model. Instead of focusing on the same ideas or debates that were once again outlined in the “White Oak Recommendation,” leaders in public diplomacy can address new concerns and structures as a unified bloc. In the new age of public diplomacy, decisions on how to create a sound structure that unify the different departments controlling public diplomacy is a key concern. In Chris Paul’s “Whither Strategic Communication? A Survey of Current Proposals and Recommendations,” the author offers four suggestions: “a call for “leadership,” demand for increased resources for strategic communication and public diplomacy, a call for a clear definition of an overall strategy, and the need for better coordination and organizational changes (or additions).” Again, this report’s key findings are not new or unique to public diplomacy. While we recognize the need to increase sound personnel and dedicate money and energy, decisions and practices need to be developed to reach those goals. Matt Armstrong is suggesting a center for public and private leaders to share their ideas and utilize scholarly sources and blogs to advance the cause. Until the actors can unify and clarify the path, US public diplomacy will not take the appropriate steps and advance forward.