On April 9, 2008 the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies hosted a discussion with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Colleen Graffy. Ms. Graffy spoke about the intimate relation between public diplomacy and foreign policymaking.
Ms. Graffy described the U.S. approach to public diplomacy in Georgia and the region, which entails cultural, athletic, commercial, and educational programs, as well as engaging the public and leadership through the news media. She also spoke about the challenges of public diplomacy in countries that are less favorably disposed than Georgia to the United States.
Temuri Yakobashvili, Georgian State Minister for Reintegration Issues, gave opening remarks. Mr. Yakobashvili spoke about the legacy of April 9, 1989, when Soviet forces put down a demonstration in Tbilisi, and about Georgia’s democratic progress in recent years. He and Ms. Graffy discussed the role of public diplomacy in advancing Georgia’s bid to join NATO; Ms. Graffy contended that Georgia needs to make clear that the promises in the Bucharest Summit communique are “better than MAP.”