us state department

The U.S. Department of State plans to send circus experts, acrobats or clowns to schools in Turkmenistan as part of a cultural exchange program. [...] “Through this program, Turkmen students and faculty of the Circus Arts Department will have a chance to work and learn from American professionals in a series of master-classes,” the grant summary says.

Monday, August 1st, was “J Day,” during which international students and other exchange visitors fan out across the United States to engage in community service and celebrate American culture. This celebration comes right after the recent party conventions where divergent philosophies on immigration and other global issues were on display. Those differences could over time negatively impact the general public’s views of international exchange programs. 

After trying many ways to confront ISIS’ campaigns on the internet to recruit Westerners, in particular Americans, the U.S. State Department launched a program that seeks “to appeal to emotion rather than logic” as The New York Times said on Friday. “Daesh deprives a woman of her voice,” reads one image that is part of a new State Department program, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. 

The United States on Wednesday marked the completion of the first year of restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba. [...] Since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations, the department said the United States and Cuba have expanded cooperation in areas such as the environment, transportation, agriculture, health and law enforcement.

Eight Pakistani women visiting Los Angeles County for a women’s empowerment trip and cultural exchange funded by the U.S. State Department will be in Pasadena on Thursday, July 21, to take part in a panel discussion about “Creating Urban Green Spaces: From California to Islamabad.”

For the past 15 years the U.S. has been recruiting pro baseball and basketball players to serve as diplomatic envoys to Muslim nations. Now with Dean Karnazes, we’ve begun sending adventure athletes abroad to build good will. [...]  The State Department launched its current sports diplomacy program after the September 11 terrorist attacks, largely to connect with and provide alternative activities to young Muslim youth who might be at risk of joining extremist groups. 

The U.S. Department of State is collaborating with veteran ultra-marathon runner Dean Karnazes on a 12-day run along the Silk Road — an ancient trade route through Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan — as part of the department’s sports diplomacy program and which will commemorate the 25th anniversary of those countries’ independence from the Soviet Union.

Experts told lawmakers on June 23 that new approaches are needed to counter the Islamic State in cyberspace [...] the State Department's efforts to counter the message by the terrorist group is "inadequate" and "falls on deaf ears," mainly because it has the State Department logo attached to everything and therefore is easily ignored as government work. The public diplomacy efforts, he added,  "have really been pretty much a bust, dysfunctional."