The ICD Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in the USA

"Options on the Table": Soft Power, Intercultural Dialogue and the Future of US Foreign Policy

(Washington D.C.; January 9th - 11th, 2013)


In the wake of the recent U.S. Presidential Election, the strategy of America's Foreign Policy has become an increasingly crucial issue, with the international community waiting expectantly to see how America's Foreign Policy approach will adapt to the new challenges confronting the international arena.

Over the past years, the international community has come to see soft power and cultural diplomacy play a more significant role within U.S. Foreign Policy and International Relations in general, as it has been recognized and become apparent that these approaches can assist in creating a multi-lateral consensus, as opposed to confrontation. However, the challenges facing the international community within the context of globalization continue to deepen due to a fragmented international framework filled with mistrust, competition, and economic and political fragility.

The foreign policy goals and priorities of individual nation states will increasingly be required to take into account an interdependent, multi-polar, international environment, and balance the pursuit of national interests with the pursuit of global public goods. The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy has therefore dedicated its bi-annual conference on the US Foreign Policy to debate and explore the continuing concepts of soft power, intercultural dialogue, and cultural diplomacy, particularly as they relate to American Foreign Policy, and assess the role they will play in the next years.

Conference Participants »

Participation in the conference is open to governmental & diplomatic officials, academics, artists, journalists, civil society practitioners, private sector representatives, young professionals and students as well as other interested individuals from across the world.

If you would like to reserve a position and participate in the conference, please click on the "Apply Now" link below and fill out the online application form:

Conference Speakers

The speakers during the Conference will include dignitaries and current and former heads of state and ministers, as well celebrated artists and leading figures and experts from international politics, the diplomatic community and civil society from across the world.

These speakers will include high number of individuals from the ICD Advisory Board; to learn more about the ICD Advisory Board please click here

Speakers for the Conference include »
Under Secretary Tara D. Sonenshine
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, US State Department (more)
Amb. András Simonyi
Managing Director, Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University; Former Hungarian Ambassador to the United States (more)
H. E. Amb. Elin Suleymanov
Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the United States (more)
H.E. Amb. Houda Nonoo
Ambassador of Bahrain to the USA (more)
Jennifer Cover Payne
President, Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington (more)
Lucian Perkins
Award-winning American Photojournalist (more)
Amb. Dr. Cynthia Schneider
(ICD Advisory Board Member; Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy, Georgetown University; Former USA Ambassador to the Netherlands) (more)
Kingsley Smith
Program Director, National Public Radio (NPR) (more)
The Hon. Dr. Ali Ahmad Jalali
President of the ICD Advisory Board; Former Interior Minister of Afghanistan (more)
Dr. Karen E. Donfried
National Intelligence Officer for Europe on the National Intelligence Council, US Government (more)

Program Agenda »

History has shown that the use of hard power alone is not sufficient to sustainably respond to and to reduce threats to national security; as many of the global challenges facing states today require common solutions, which arise additionally out of cooperation rather than coercion. The goal of the ICD Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in the USA, therefore, is to instill new momentum into the debate over the role of Cultural Diplomacy in a nation state's Foreign Policy decisions, and discuss the potential for intercultural dialogue and soft power to increasingly be used in the future.

The ICD Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in the USA will provide an opportunity to examine and analyze the increasing importance of soft power tools and cultural diplomacy practices. The conference will offer ideas as to how the United States, as well as the rest of the world, can use smart power strategies to effectively implement Foreign Policy tactics in confronting global risks and establishing the framework for global peace and prosperity.

Participant Papers »

The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy encourages academic research and analysis of issues related to the goals of the Conference. The ICD would therefore like to welcome the participants of the conference to submit a paper they would like to be considered for presentation at the Conference as well as being included in the proposal document that will be issued following the Conference and will be sent to all governments and leaders of the international community worldwide.

Certificate of Attendance

All conference participants will be awarded an official certificate of attendance upon completion of the program, which will provide details of the speakers who took part and the topics discussed. Each certificate will be signed by two members of the ICD's Advisory Board.