Technology and new innovations are changing the world in which we live. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is responding to these challenges by adapting our foreign policy agenda to leverage new innovations in service of our diplomatic and development goals. This is 21st Century Statecraft -- complementing traditional foreign policy tools with newly innovated and adapted instruments of statecraft that fully leverage the networks, technologies, and demographics of our interconnected world.
Today marks the end of "21st Century Statecraft Month" at that State Department -- an entire month dedicated to using new tools and engaging new networks in pursuit of addressing today's challenges. During the month, I had the privilege to speak with a group of journalists and bloggers during a Live at State video web chat, the Department's interactive "virtual press briefing" platform. As the journalists, bloggers, and I discussed, we at the Department of State, much like many others, are learning and adapting to a world that's becoming increasingly disrupted, both for good and for ill, by social media. What we're seeking to do here, under the leadership of Secretary Clinton, is to keep pace, to listen, to learn, and to experiment. Hopefully, we've accomplished a little bit of each of those during the month of 21st Century Statecraft.
For starters, the Secretary's Office of Innovation and the Office of the Chief of Protocol hosted more than 100 members of the diplomatic corps to discuss online movements and social media. Ambassador Dino Djalal of Indonesia served as a special guest speaker and shared with his colleagues how he is effectively using Twitter to communicate foreign policy initiatives.
In addition, State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland held the Department's first-ever "Twitter Briefing," answering your questions gathered from the Department's 11 official Twitter accounts. As part of that effort, the Bureau of Public Affairs launched the Department's official Turkish-language Twitter account (@ABDTurk), which complements U.S. Mission Turkey's existing social media outreach and represents the U.S. commitment to building a strong partnership with the government and people of Turkey. @ABDTurk joins the 10 other official feeds in Arabic, Chinese, English, Farsi, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Urdu.
Some other highlights from the month include:
· Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Michael Posner delivered keynote remarks on January 17 at the 8th annual State of the Net Conference. Two years after Secretary Clinton first addressed global Internet freedom as a core policy priority, the Assistant Secretary reflected on the challenges and responsibilities of the public and private sector to advance a free and open Internet.
· Director of Policy Planning Jake Sullivan outlined U.S. foreign policy priorities for 2012 during a Live at State video web chat.
· Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Esther Brimmer delivered remarks at the launch of "Teaching Respect for All," UNESCO's curriculum development program that promotes anti-racism and tolerance. U.S. Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Pandith, U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Hannah Rosenthal, and other State Department officials joined a live web chat and Tweet-Up held in coordination with the event. You can join the ongoing discussion on Twitter by following the hashtag, #Dignity4All.
· Ambassador Ivo Daalder, Ambassador David Huebner, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Ann Stock, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Mike Hammer, and the U.S. Missions to Haiti, New Zealand, and NATO held Twitter Q&A's to discuss various U.S. foreign policy issues.
· The U.S. Department of State launched My State Department, an optional interface on www.state.gov that allows users to customize the information they see on the website. This gives the public the opportunity to follow the issues that matter most to them -- ranging from food security to global women's issues.
Many thanks to all who participated in 21st Century Statecraft Month; we have been greatly encouraged by the positive response. As we continue to forge U.S. digital diplomacy, we hope you will continue to be a part of the conversation and stay tuned to www.state.gov, the DipNote blog, @StateDept on Twitter and the U.S. Department of State's official Facebook page for additional engagements throughout 2012.