• 8 May 2014

    Aspen Institute Germany | Board Luncheon with Tara Sonenshine

    The former Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy under Secretary Hillary Clinton and Secretary John Kerry, Mrs. Tara Sonenshine, was the keynote speaker at an Aspen Board Luncheon on May 8, 2014. Mrs. Sonenshine, who was a ten times News Emmy Award winning TV journalist in the U.S. before joining public service, spoke about the role of new media in shaping nation images and public perceptions of other countries and their policies. Against the background of the current Ukrainian crisis and the annexation of Crimea by Putin, she highlighted that the Russian government had spent hundreds of millions of dollars for years to invest in public diplomacy projects trying to influence and positively shape the Western perception of Russia's policies. She said that the battle ground in public diplomacy and positive nation branding was no longer through classic diplomacy or print media but rather through social networks like Facebook and Twitter. She considered this an irreversible process which we all have to live and reckon with.