- Can Public Diplomacy Survive the Internet? Jul 19, 2017
Chris Hensman serves as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy—a body charged by Congress to appraise activities intended to understand, inform, and influence foreign publics and to increase the understanding of, and support for, these same activities. In this role he is researching ways to improve public diplomacy efforts in high threat environments and how public diplomacy programs may be able to build upon private sector tools to further public sector objectives.
Chris started his career at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan and then moved to the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. He then served as Deputy Spokesman for Middle Eastern Press for the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs in Washington, DC. From there, Chris was then recruited to work as Director for Communications Planning at the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House. While at the NSC, Chris traveled to Iraq to oversee messaging around the 2010 Iraqi national election. He then served as an advisor to the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs focusing on programs in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Prior returning to Washington, Chris served as the Director of the Press Office and Deputy Spokesman for the United States Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq where he coordinated and implemented press and outreach activities on behalf of the Embassy. Returning to Washington, he became the Acting Director of the Department of State Main Press Office. In this capacity, he oversaw press relations for the Department from press conferences, the daily press briefing, general press inquiries, and interview requests. Chris comes to the Commission from his most recent posting as Director of the Office of Strategic Planning in the Bureau of Public Affairs. In this role he worked to coordinate the Department’s public outreach resources to support major policy goals and crises.
Chris Hensman joined the State Department after graduating from Connecticut College with a BA in political science. He is currently an MBA candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.