Office of Public Liaison
Bureau of Public Affairs

Members of the German United Nations Association Spend the Morning at the Department Discussing Foreign Policy
WASHINGTON, DC, May 28 — German graduate students visited the U.S. Department of State in a United Nations Association sponsored trip to Washington, to gain further insight into the United States relationship with the United Nations/European Union. Zoja Deretic, a Senior Political Officer in the Office of European Union and Regional Affairs, spoke to students about where the EU fits into US policy and finding common ground with its member states. Brian Naranjo, Acting Director of UN Political Affairs in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, spoke about UN issues, the Security Council expansion and the evolving dynamics and challenges in the United Nations.

The group also spoke with Nancy Cohen, Refugee Officer in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration who offered more background on some of the refugee situations in Europe. She engaged students in a discussion surrounding her own experiences in Kosovo. Ms. Cohen also spoke about the importance of securing durable solutions as well as what options a refugee faces and how the US is assisting refugees worldwide.

In addition to their briefings on multilateral and refugee issues, the Bureau of Public Affairs informed the international students about the recent release of the Obama Administration's National Security Strategy.

Date: 05/28/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Brian Naranjo discuss the United States relationship with the United Nations and the European Union. - State Dept ImageDate: 05/28/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Zoja Deretic discussed the United States relationship with the United Nations and the European Union. - State Dept Image
Zoja Deretic and Brian Naranjo discuss the United States relationship with the United Nations and the European Union. State Department Photo. May 29, 2010.


Public Leadership Education Network Visits the Department
Date: 05/27/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Jennifer Roque, speaking to PLEN Seminar participants. - State Dept ImageWASHINGTON, DC, May 27 – U.S undergraduates participating in the Public Leadership Education Network Washington seminar visited the Department for a series of discussions ranging issues from U.S. policy towards the Korean Peninsula, to global women's issues, to the use of new media to further foreign policy initiatives.

Students met with Jennifer Roque, North Korean Desk Officer, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs . Ms. Roque discussed her responsibilities for monitoring South Korea's foreign relations as well as U.S. sanctions on North Korea and their involvement in Six Party Talks. Diane Kelly, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Global Women's Issues, discussed U.S. efforts to educate and empower women across the world.

Date: 05/27/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Katie Dowd speaking to PLEN seminar participants. - State Dept ImageKatie Dowd, New Media Director, Office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, spoke about the Department's advancements in technology to improve interaction with the public. She discussed the Department's partnership with the Red Cross and telephone companies to create the “Text Haiti” campaign, as well as interactive travel maps to track the Secretary on her international trips. Laura Williams, Bureau of Human Resources, discussed student programs and career opportunities within the Department by visiting careers.state.gov.

Related Information:

White House Council on Women and Girls
21 st Century Statecraft
State Department Haiti Earthquake Page
Six-Party Talks


Texas A&M Students Spend Afternoon at the State Department Discussing Economic Policy Priorities
Date: 05/26/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Nathan Lane, from the Office of Multilateral Trade Relations in the Bureua of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, spoke about the National Export Initiative. - State Dept ImageWASHINGTON, DC, May 26 — Graduate students and faculty from Texas A&M University visited the State Department as part of their International Economic Policy and Strategy Briefing series. During their visit to the State Department, they discussed multilateral trade relations as well as economic policy in Latin America. Nathan Lane, from the Office of Multilateral Trade Relations in the Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs spoke about the National Export Initiative and its importance to establishing good economic relations with other countries. He began by explaining the nature of the initiative and its overall focus on investment. This incited debate among participants and a discussion about multilateral trade.

Ambassador Charles Shapiro, the Senior Coordinator for Economic Initiatives in the Date: 05/26/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Ambassador Shapiro speaks about US Economic policy in the Western Hemisphere. - State Dept ImageBureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, discussed trade relations with Latin America and Canada as well as current events such as the trade situation with Colombia and the importance of the Western Hemisphere's future in energy independence.

In addition to their briefings on multilateral and refugee issues, the Bureau of Public Affairs informed the international students about the recent release of the Obama Administration's National Security Strategy.


Nebraska Radio Station talks Social Media and Government Careers with State Department CIO
OMAHA, NE, May 26 — The State Department's Chief Information Officer, Susan Swart, visited KFAB Newsradio in Omaha, Nebraska to speak with popular radio host Tom Becka. Assistant Secretary Swart and Mr. Becka discussed the State Department's use of Facebook and other social media resources. Assistant Secretary Swart also talked about IT technology and offered advice on how to protect home computers. She touched on her federal employment experience and revealed why she chose a government career. You can listen to the conversation here: Assistant Secretary Susan Swart Interview with Tom Becka on 1110 KFAB

Susan H. Swart, a member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister Counselor, was appointed as the Chief Information Officer for the Department of State in February 2008. As Chief Information Officer she is responsible for the Department's information resources and technology initiatives and provides core information, knowledge management, and technology (IT) services to the Department of State.


Union College Discusses Iraq and Trafficking in Persons Issues with State Department Officials
Date: 05/24/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Abe Lee, Office to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking, speaking to Union College students at the State Department.  - State Dept ImageWASHINGTON, DC, May 24-- Undergraduates from Union College, Schenectady, New York met with State Department officials to discuss U.S. foreign policy in Iraq and U.S. efforts to combat human trafficking prior to the release of the 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report (scheduled to be released in June 2010).

Students met with Andrew Kim, Iraq Desk Officer, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, who discussed the Obama Administration's goal to stabilize and create national unity in Iraq. Abraham Lee, Public Affairs Officer, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, discussed the Department's struggle to eliminate the trafficking of persons across the global as well as the content of the Trafficking in Persons Report to be released later this month.

Andrew Kim is a Political Affairs Officer in the Iraq Office at the Department of State. He previously worked at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Africa Bureau as a Conflict Management Specialist and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Abraham Lee is a Public Affairs Officer in the Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP). Prior to joining the Department, he was Director of Public Affairs for Crossing Borders, a non-governmental organization devoted to assisting North Korean refugees in northeast China.

Related Information
Iraq National Election
Trafficking in Persons Report
Role of the United States in Combating Human Trafficking
USAID Africa Program


Villanova University Students Discuss Foreign Policy Priorities in the Department Date: 05/21/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Edward Lacey, Deputy Director of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff, met with Villanova students to discuss U.S. foreign policy priorities. - State Dept Image
Washington, DC, May 21 – Students from Villanova University met with Edward Lacey, Deputy Director, the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff, for a discussion of U. S. foreign policy priorities. D r. Lacey outlined U.S. foreign policy priorities and the work of the Policy Planning Staff. Students asked a range of questions including non proliferation and the Korea n Peninsula.

The 20 students who attended the briefing are participating in a three-week Villanova University Washington Mini-mester pro gram which provides them the opportunity to earn credits while learning first-hand about federal politics and policy-making.

Edward Lacey is Deputy Director of the Policy Planning Staff. Before joining the Staff, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance. Prior to 1999, Dr. Lacey served in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency as Deputy Assistant Director, and as Principal Deputy Director of the Department of Defense On-Site Inspection Agency. As head of the U.S. Delegation to the International Conference on Verification of the Biological Weapons Convention, he was given the Personal Rank of Ambassador.


Students from Pope John Paul the Great High School discuss the U.S. Relationship with EuropeDate: 05/20/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Zoja Deretic, European and Eurasian Affairs, discussed the United States' relationship with Europe and the European Union to Pope John Paul the Great High School. - State Dept Image
WASHINGTON, DC, May 20 — High school students enrolled in an Advanced Placement European History course at Pope John Paul the Great Catholic High School in Dumfries, VA visited the State Department to gain further insight into the U.S. relationship with the European Union (EU). Zoja Deretic, a Senior Political Officer from the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, spoke to students about the United States' continued relationship with the European Union and the EU system. Ms. Deretic specifically discussed her role in monitoring and managing the relationship between the European Union and other countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. This discussion sparked many questions from the students surrounding global issues.

Zoja Deretic is a career Foreign Service Officer. She joined the State Department in 2002 as a political officer. Zoja has served as a consular officer in Havana, Cuba (2003-2005), a political officer in Rome, Italy (2005-2007), a watch officer in the State Department Operations Center (2007-2008), and an observer to the Egypt-Israel Treaty of Peace as part of the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai (2008-2009).


Director for African Regional Security Affairs Visits IndianapolisDate: 05/19/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Map of Africa Region taken from Background Notes. - State Dept Image
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, May 19 -- Louis Mazel, Director for Regional Security Affairs in the State Department's Bureau of African Affairs, traveled to Indianapolis at the invitation of the Indiana Council on World Affairs. During a dinner event before an audience of 85 members of the council and the community at large, he discussed China's growing influence on the continent of Africa. Prior to this event, Mr. Mazel met one-on-one with Executive Committee President of the Indiana Council on World Affairs, Mr. Victor Childers. He also met with a group of ten representatives of the network Provocate, a local think tank that links people and organizations in the Indianapolis area working in international programs. Mr. Mazel discussed sexual and gender-based violence programs, Muslim outreach, and the Ambassador's Special Self-Help Fund in various African countries. He also spoke about State Department's internship programs and what Foreign Service officers do overseas with two young women who recently graduated from College and are currently interning with Provocate.

Louis Mazel, a career Foreign Service Officer, joined the State Department in 1984. He has spent most of his career in Africa having served in Mali, Togo, Namibia, Ethiopia, South Africa and most recently as Deputy Chief of Mission in Monrovia, Liberia. He has also served tours in Martinique, in the French West Indies, and in Malaysia. In his current position as Director of the Office of African Regional and Security Affairs, Lou oversees State Department-funded programs in Africa in the areas of peacekeeping training and support, and security sector reform. His office also deals with the U.S. Mission to the African Union and regional issues in the areas of human rights, democratization, traf ficking in persons, and counter-piracy off the coast of Somalia.


Foreign Policy Association of Harrisburg, PA Visits the State Department for a Briefing on Morocco
 Description: Country Map and Flag of MoroccoWashington, DC, May 11 -- Fifty members of the Foreign Policy Association of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, visited the State Department on Tuesday for a briefing on Morocco. Each year, the organization plans a visit to the State Department for a briefing on a country of interest to its members; this year they chose Morocco.

Matthew Keene, Deputy Director of the Office of Maghreb Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, delivered remarks on the political and economic situation in Morocco, followed by a discussion about the US-Moroccan bilateral relationship and other regional issues. Kali Jones, Moroccan Desk Officer in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, joined Mr. Keene in the question and answer session. The group asked questions on a wide range of topics related to Morocco, including women's rights, population growth, cultural and religious practices, among others. Following the briefing, they enjoyed dinner at a Moroccan restaurant in DC.

The Foreign Policy Association of Harrisburg was organized in 1949 by a group of local educators and civic leaders as a venue for public discussion of international issues affecting United States foreign policy and America's national and international interests. The FPA's purpose is solely educational. Its mission is to bring information on international issues and policies to the attention of fellow citizens.


Annual Meeting of the Public Members Association of the Foreign ServiceDate: 05/06/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Public Members Association of the Foreign Service during their annual meeting at the State Department. - State Dept Image
Washington, DC, May 6 -- The Public Members Association of the Foreign Service (PMA) held its annual meeting at the State Department. The half-day meeting focused on Islamic Issues in Foreign Affairs. The program opened with Farah Pandith, Special Representative to Muslim Communities, discussing Muslim engagement in the 21 st century. Ms. Pandith's office is responsible for executing Secretary Clinton's vision for engagement with Muslims around the world on a people-to-people and organizational level. She reports directly to the Secretary of State. As a Muslim American, she has a unique perspective on Muslim communities and her insight encouraged the audience to ask many questions.

Date: 05/06/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Peter Kovach addresses members of the Public Members Association. - State Dept ImagePeter Kovach, Director of the Office of International Religious Freedom in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor focused his remarks on Islam, human rights and democracy. Mr. Kovach described how his office monitors religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommends and implements policies in regions and countries, and develops programs to promote religious freedom. The group showed great interest in his explanation of the Bible versus the Koran.

Afghanistan and Pakistan regional stabilization was the topic of remarks by John Spykerman, Pakistan Desk Officer in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. Gregg Behrman, a member of the Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff delivered a read out of the recent Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship. The luncheon speaker was Stephanie Hallett, who serves in the Office of Iranian Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Ms. Hallett explained U.S. approach to Iran.

Date: 05/06/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Public Members Association of the Foreign Service during its annual meeting at the State Department. - State Dept Image

PMA brings together individuals who have served as public members in advisory capacities to the Department of State, the former U.S. Information Agency, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and other government agencies oriented to international affairs and the Foreign Service. PMA is dedicated to strengthening and supporting the work of the Foreign Service. Members serve on selection boards, promotion panels, inspection teams, and advisory committees.



Under Secretary of State Burns Engages National Security Management Class at SyracuseDate: 05/06/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J. Burns speaks to the National Security Management Class at Syracuse University. - State Dept Image
WASHINGTON, DC, May 6 – Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns recently spoke via digital video conference to the National Security Management Class at Syracuse University. The 55 members of the class are senior officials from the public and private sectors, including representatives from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Army Reserve, U.S. Army, Department of Defense, National Counterterrorism Center, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), Northrop Grumman, Saab, Embassy of the Netherlands, and Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, among others.

Date: 05/06/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Under Secretary for Political Affairs William J. Burns participates in a question and answer session with students of the National Security Management Class at Syracuse University. - State Dept ImageUnder Secretary Burns gave a brief overview of current U.S. foreign policy priorities, focusing on topics such as Iran and non-proliferation, which sparked a lively discussion on U.S. relations with the Middle East.

The National Security Management Class at Syracuse University is a two-week course that explores a range of management challenges in the field of national security. Participants met with a variety of leaders, including Richard Armitage, President of Armitage International LC; Donald Gregg, Chairman Emeritus of The Korea Society; Dr. Matt Levitt, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and Sean O'Keefe, CEO of Eads North America, among others.


Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Discusses Recent Trip
Itinerary included Paris, Brazzaville, Kinshasa, London
WASHINGTON, DC, May 5 – Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs met with a group of 50 Washington, D.C.-based representatives of non-governmental organizations and Diaspora organizations to discuss his recent trip to the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He reiterated the commitment of the State Department to addressing conflict, political unrest, governance and gender based sexual violence in the region. Following his readout from his travel and consultations, Assistant Secretary Carson engaged the attendees in a discussion on contributing factors to the current situation in the region. Trip Information | Johnnie Carson Recent Remarks at Harvard University | Bureau of African Affairs


Naval Academy Midshipmen Focus on Diplomacy Date: 05/05/2010 Location: Washington, DC Description: Graduating seniors from the U.S. Naval Academy met with Deputy Secretary James Steinberg at the US Department of State. - State Dept Image
Washington, DC, May 5 -- U.S. Naval Academy graduating seniors met with Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg on Wednesday morning to discuss the importance of integrating diplomacy with defense in international relations. The midshipmen are enrolled in a capstone course, Global Issues and Challenges to National Security, taught by Dr. Paula Dobriansky, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs (2001-2009).

The midshipmen, headed to their assignments as naval officers upon graduation, wrote in-depth capstone papers discussing issues like democracy promotion, science diplomacy, hard vs. soft power, human trafficking, health as a national security issue, environmental stewardship, and corporate social responsibility. During the discussion, Deputy Secretary Steinberg outlined Secretary Clinton's vision of smart power – “ the full range of tools at our disposal – diplomatic, economic, military, political, legal, and cultural – picking the right tool, or combination of tools, for each situation.”


US Diplomat Returns Home from Mexico Post
MADISON, WI, MAY 4 – During a trip to his hometown, Vice Consul Ryan Ruta met with Ms. Janet Piraino, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's Chief of Staff and discussed his current work at the US Embassy in Guadalajara, Mexico and how it relates to the broader work and mission of the State Department. Ryan is a participant in the State Department's Hometown Diplomat program, in which Diplomats volunteer to meet with local organizations, elected officials, and media to discuss their work and the mission of the State Department during visits to their hometowns. Ryan grew up in central Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.


Public Affairs Official Engages the Houston Community
HOUSTON, TX, May 3-4 -- Cheryl Benton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (DAS) for Public Affairs traveled to Houston for a series of meetings with local organizations to discuss the work of the State Department. In the first of what will become a series of trips to cities across the United States, DAS Benton met with Mayor Anisse Parker's International Affairs team, the leadership of the League of Women Voters of the Houston Area, faculty and staff at the University of Houston, and served as the kick-off speaker at Texas Southern University's Public Service Week. In each meeting, DAS Benton highlighted the domestic outreach efforts of the Department, and how the Bureau of Public Affairs seeks to engage Americans on the policy priorities and work of the Department. She underscored the Department's desire to learn more about the foreign affairs interests of various U.S. communities and to establish and maintain relationships with them into the future.

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