May 22, 2018



May 22, 2018



The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy invites you to explore their latest report, "Optimizing Engagement: Research, Evaluation and Learning in Public Diplomacy." Building on ACPD's Research, Evaluation and Learning Summit held earlier this year at the U.S. Institute of Peace, this field-defining effort provides an in-depth assessment of top public diplomacy practices around the globe.

Following the summit, ACPD and M&C Saatchi World Services conducted 28 interviews with experts from 17 countries about the research and impact measurement of public diplomacy and cultural relations initiatives. Their findings shape this new report, which points to a set of strategic recommendations for improving research and assessment efforts supporting public diplomacy activities.

ACPD's Executive Director Shawn Powers explains, "the findings are both instructive for research and assessment professionals, but also aspirational for those overseeing public diplomacy campaigns, offices and operations."

Be sure to access the full report here.

Image courtesy of ACPD.


May 17, 2018


Derek Moscato

Recent news that Ichiro Suzuki, the legendary Seattle Mariners outfielder, would be transitioning to the team’s front office comes as a disappointment for those baseball fans who would like to see the Japanese sporting icon play at least one more ballgame in a Mariners uniform this season. Yet the news was hardly a surprise for serious baseball fans. Naysayers in the Seattle press and on social media had framed his return to the Mariners in terms of his age and diminished statistics.

His intangibles—the professionalism, the quiet leadership, the dynamism and energy that has fostered a global fan base for #51—were largely drowned out in the debate. That lack of contextualization reminds us that Ichiro’s place in Seattle, and indeed in Major League Baseball, always needed to be considered through a much wider lens, one that considers his global influence—and perhaps even his role within public diplomacy. 

As his career transitions to a next phase, there is good reason why we can celebrate his long playing tenure on both sides of the Pacific and his front office future in Seattle (his new job title has been announced by the Mariners as “Special Assistant to the Chairman”). Suzuki has emerged as a symbol of the internationalism of sport—a conduit between the baseball cultures of Japan and the United States. He is still his home country’s best known sporting export, as well as the most famous major league baseball player of Japanese descent in the United States. Ichiro’s appeal means that the Seattle Mariners are as well known in Tokyo as the iconic Yomiuri Giants, arguably Japan’s most famous sporting franchise.

In this sense, Suzuki didn’t just play a game extremely well or help drive ticket sales in the ballparks where he played. It’s bigger than that. He helped build mutual interest between two nations. Joseph Nye, the Harvard political scientist who coined the term soft power, has long championed the role of popular culture, including sports, in global public diplomacy. Through a game like baseball, a country can express its values and tell its story to the world. The increasingly global nature of major league sports leads to powerful national conversations, and Ichiro has provided a platform for a good many of them.

As a driver of media coverage for Major League Baseball in Japan and one of the pioneers of the Japanese wave of ballplayers who arrived in this country over the past two decades, Suzuki has emerged as an ambassador of sorts—of Japan, of baseball and even of Seattle. Given that baseball is a national sport in both the U.S. and Japan, and serves as a lens into the countries’ respective customs and traditions, the symbolism of Suzuki’s career success within public diplomacy should not be understated.

Ichiro is not a politician, but as a baseball ambassador, he has been a generator of international goodwill.

In a recent Associated Press article, baseball writer Robert Whiting explained how Ichiro symbolizes a nation’s hopes and aspirations. “Ichiro gave Japan status and esteem,” he said. “He showed that the Japanese ballplayer could compete on the same playing field with American major leaguers—and excel.” Whiting’s take on Suzuki shouldn’t be downplayed. He authored both The Meaning of Ichiro and You Gotta Have Wa, must-read baseball books that deal with the sport’s transnational flavor in Japan and the United States.

The recent excitement surrounding the play of Shohei Ohtani, who joined the Los Angeles Angels this past spring as an international free agent, provides a case in point. The Japanese pitcher’s on-field meeting with Suzuki before a recent game in Seattle offered up a symbolic and highly-mediated transition—from the legacy of one baseball diplomat to the possibilities of the next.

Ichiro’s act will be hard to top, however, and it should be pointed out that his playing days aren’t officially over. Indeed, there is hope that he will retake the field with his Mariners for a two-games series in Japan against the Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome next March—providing a fitting venue for recognizing his historic role.

A few years ago, Pew Research Center in conjunction with Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA interviewed 1,000 Americans to gauge the public’s perception of U.S.-Japan relations—and they asked respondents for their take on Ichiro. Not surprisingly, a favorable view of #51 was associated with cultural affinity toward Japan and positive views on trade and tourism.

Ichiro is not a politician, but as a baseball ambassador, he has been a generator of international goodwill—something we can use more of. While his legacy will always be defined by how he played the game, we should also acknowledge his role as a sporting ambassador who helped transform baseball’s place in the world and reaffirm the role of culture and sport in public diplomacy.

Photo by Keith Allison | CC BY-SA 2.0

Journal of Cyber Policy: Call for Papers 2018-2019

Dear Colleague, 

The Journal of Cyber Policy, Chatham House’s peer reviewed journal dedicated to emerging cyber policy challenges, is soliciting papers for publication in 2018 and 2019. There are three issues of the Journal of Cyber Policy a year, each covering a range of cyber policy areas.  

Whilst the Editorial team welcomes submissions on all cyber policy related topics, in 2018-2019 there will be a focus on the following topics:

Cybersecurity of critical infrastructureThe space arms raceArtificial intelligencePrivacy and surveillanceMetrics and measurementCyber weaponsCybersecurity in ChinaThe environmental impact of ICTs (e.g: spam, blockchain, techno-garbage, data centres and energy consumption)HackingLanguage in cyberspace


Interested researchers can submit either (a) completed manuscripts or (b) paper outlines or abstracts. Completed manuscripts should be between 4,000 and 8,000 words (not including notes and references).  Paper outlines or abstracts should be no more than 250 words and should sketch out the key ideas in the proposed paper; If the journal editors think that the suggested paper described in the outline/abstract would be a good fit for the volume, they will commission the full paper.

For further information about the Journal of Cyber Policy, please refer to the extensive guidance provided by the Journal’s publisher, Routledge, Taylor & Francis.  Please read the guidelines and then submit your paper in the relevant author centre where you will find user guides and a helpdesk.

If you would like to speak with someone in the editorial team, please contact Emily TaylorJoyce Hakmeh,  or Hannah Bryce.

Kind Regards, 

Patricia Lewis
Research Director
International Security


Nilza Amaral
Coordinator, International Security
+44 (0)207 957 5743

May 15, 2018


May 10, 2018

Daryl Copeland

The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers (PAFSO)—which represents more than 1500 active and retired Canadian foreign service officers—held its first professional conference last week in Ottawa on the “foreign service officer of the future.”

While the discussion at the conference was under Chatham House Rule, as a former diplomat and five-term elected member of PAFSO’s executive committee, I was delighted to know that PAFSO is thinking about the future of foreign service. Such an exercise is both timely and relevant, given that in the face of the new threat set facing humanity (climate, biodiversity, global commons, pandemic disease, alternative energy, and food and water security, to name a few), diplomacy is our best bet.

There are no military solutions—these issues are immune to the application of armed force.

That said, when it comes to diplomatic practice and institutions, there is much work to be done. Time to raise the bar and up the game. And while diplomats are certainly already working to improve the foreign service—OpenCanadarecently reported on the efforts to make the service gender balanced, for instance—I have additional advice for diplomats currently working in the field. Here are five steps each can take to improve the quality of our foreign service immediately.

1. Modernize professional development training.

Learn the essential tradecraft, which turns on both art and science in roughly equal measure. Explore vital distinctions: diplomacy vs. journalism; policy vs. intelligence; political/economic reporting and analysis vs. the news; the role and place of international science and technology; the importance of acquiring a fundamental understanding of history, culture, people and place. While there are many courses available on the curriculum of the Canadian Foreign Service Institute—on protocol, trade promotion, intercultural effectiveness, foreign languages and so forth—how can it be that Canada’s diplomatic academy still offers no actual training in diplomacy? 

Time to hit the reset button and get back to basics in training and professional development.

2. Remain grounded.

Be true to yourself. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. Stand by your values and ethics and have the courage of your convictions. Do not go gently. Offer fearless advice and speak truth to power rather than worry about its accommodation or comfort.

Beware the paradox of connectivity—you may feel more networked than ever and rejoice in your vast number of e-contacts, but in key matters of statecraft nothing compares to direct human exchange founded in confidence, trust and respect. In a pinch, act. Instructions have their place, but in our increasingly fast-paced world remember that it is always easier to ask forgiveness than to beg permission.

3. Avoid the hierarchy trap.

Praise the Lord (Lord Acton, that is). “There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it,” English intellectual John Dalberg-Acton once wrote.

Absolute power may corrupt, but bureaucratic ambition, particularly in a hierarchic, authoritarian setting such as a foreign ministry, transforms personalities and corrodes interpersonal relations. The Jekyll and Hyde syndrome is a classic here. So don’t specialize in pleasing the boss, or fall into the kiss-up/kick-down model of career advancement. And always judge ideas by their quality, not their provenance.

When the adulation of seniority is substituted for genuine dialogue and functions as the primary organizational ethos, the work environment tends rapidly to become septic, if not toxic. Weed out the upper echelons, and make way for new blood by making successful performance outside of the foreign ministry—through mandatory secondments and exchanges with a wide variety of partners—a pre-condition to promotion into the executive cadre or assignment abroad as head of mission.

Bring back the PEG (the PAFSO Evaluation Guide), a bottom-up, membership-driven damage control scheme designed to identify, assess and isolate chronic underperformers and corporate ogres.

4. Embrace risk.

Risk is to be managed, not averted. When in doubt, resist. Dissent constructively and avoid self-censorship and the production of lowest common denominator mush. Pablum won’t save the planet. Hone critical consciousness and think freely. If you want to be heard, don’t run with the herd. Canada’s foreign affairs department was the ancestral home of Lester Pearson, Charles Ritchie, George Ignatieff and John Halstead—not to mention whistleblowers Joanna Gualtieri and Richard Colvin. None were obsequious toadies or grasping acolytes. 

To be sure, the department that brought the world peacekeeping, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the Rio Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), victory through public diplomacy in the “Fish War” with Spain, and the human security agenda, is no more. Worse yet, the Conservative government’s decade of darkness (2006-2015)—with its disastrous engagement in Afghanistan, muzzling of diplomats and scientists, privileging of ideology over evidence, assault on democracy and de-resourcing of international policy institutions—has taken a profound toll on the capacity and willingness of Global Affairs Canada employees to initiate. What are we doing with the G7 presidency? Our United Nations Security Council candidacy? Achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals? Not much, and certainly not enough.

5. Finally, always strive to innovate.

Respect the Vienna and Geneva Conventions, but dare to be unconventional. Understand the importance of the personal and situational. Chance, luck and timing often trump factors associated with terms masquerading under the banner of objectivity, merit and performance management in conditioning—if not determining—workplace outcomes.

Be strategic where possible, but improvise where necessary. Innovate relentlessly. The foreign ministry is not a cathedral. The foreign service is not a priesthood. Diplomacy is not liturgy. The diplomatic ecosystem is in crisis and this profession is in desperate need of a leadership transfusion, radical reform and reconstruction from the ground up. Carpe diem.

The norms of Canadian public service have been decades in the making. To find a better way ahead, begin by looking back. Don’t forget: the path of least resistance is often a dead end. Push back. Build back. Take back.

A diplomat is much more than a glorified international policy bureaucrat. That distinction is crucial but seems to have been lost on the bland, ashen-faced apparatchiks, timid time-servers and clever careerists who prospered during the Harper years and now dominate the senior ranks. That must change, and there is a better way forward. But none of this will happen by itself. A foreign service wake-up call is long overdue.

Note from the CPD Blog Manager: This piece originally appeared in OpenCanada and has been adapted for the CPD Blog.