Judith McHale

At the closing luncheon for the Department of State's TechWomen Initiative today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton celebrated the completion of the first-ever TechWomen exchange program and announced the planned launch of a similar initiative next year.

The "TechGirls" initiative will complement the TechWomen program and "will bring teenage girls from the Middle East and North Africa for an intensive month of educational activities here in the United States."

On the heels of Tuesday’s Washington Post story that broke the news of her departure from the State Department, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale circulated a departure message to the “PD community” (full text below).

The Washington Post reports that Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, is expected to announce as early as today that she will leave her position at the State Department to return to the private sector. No word has emerged on a replacement for McHale, the Post says. 

In her remarks at the Exchange 2.0 Summit on Tuesday, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale spoke about the “peace-building power of intercultural understanding” and stressed the need for integrating connective technologies into the U.S.’ exchange efforts.

In her opening remarks at the Second Annual U.S.-China Consultation on People-To-People Exchange, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale outlined three goals for this two-day summit in Washington.

This week marked the celebration of two prominent milestones in citizen diplomacy and people-to-people exchanges: the 70th Anniversary of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) and the 50th Anniversary of the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV).

In the wake of the WikiLeaks release of confidential U.S. diplomatic cables and other communication, Salon.com published an article earlier this week critical of the Department of State’s public diplomacy efforts around the world. The author, Benjamin Barber, wrote that “idle and unsubstantiated rumor-mongering by U.S. diplomats has shattered the brittle façade of official smiles we have dubbed ‘Public Diplomacy’ -- a euphemism for public affairs that some also call ‘propaganda.’” Barber went on to argue:

Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, addressed the role and impact of citizen diplomacy last week during the U.S. Summit & Initiative for Global Citizen Diplomacy, hosted by the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy.

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith McHale welcomed yesterday 150 journalists from around the world participating in the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists. As McHale described it, “the Department of State started the Murrow exchange program five years ago because we believe that a free press and the practice of journalism are critical elements for any successful society.”

Speaking last week at a conference of the Association of Binational Centers in Latin America (ABLA) in Cali, Colombia, Judith McHale, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, stressed that binational centers, or BNCs*, are an integral part of U.S. public diplomacy and that the establishment of “American Spaces” are essential to moving “beyond the walls of our embassies.”

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