Foreign & Public Diplomacy

Protesters wearing traditional “thanakha,” a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark applied on the face, hold placards and shout slogans during a demonstration against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, on Feb. 25.

Why China Favors Democracy Over Dictatorship in Myanmar

To secure Beijing’s economic and regional interests, a reliable democratic government is better than an unpredictable and expansionist military junta.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken holds his first press briefing at the State Department in Washington, on Jan 27.

How to Do Diversity Reforms Right

Decades of attempts to remodel the State Department haven’t worked—here’s why and how to do better this time.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks on the phone in his office in St. Petersburg on Dec. 15, 2018.

What Biden and Putin Can Agree On

Both sides should take the long view if they are ever to reconcile.

Officials attend the signing of a declaration to kick off the Prosur regional initiative at La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago, on March 22, 2019.

In Latin America, U.S. Popularity Is Already Bouncing Back

Trump has been all but forgotten as the region looks to cooperate with Biden.

In this picture taken on March 2, 2017, a cell for inmates waiting to see the prison medic is seen at Stanley Prison in Hong Kong.

Why ‘Hostage Diplomacy’ Works

From China to Iran to the United States, arbitrary detention is an immoral—and often effective—pressure tactic.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield

Biden’s Pick for U.N. Ambassador Will Have to Juggle Containment and Collaboration With China

The administration is moving quickly to reassert U.S. leadership but needs Beijing’s support for major initiatives.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Secretary of State George Shultz at the London Economic Summit on June 8, 1984.

Was George Shultz America’s Best Secretary of State?

Reagan’s top diplomat ended the Cold War and reshaped the world.

Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 29, 2015.

George Shultz, Revered U.S. Diplomat, Dies at 100

Shultz helped negotiate the end of the Cold War and was known for his credo: “Trust is the coin of the realm.”

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks to staff during his first visit to the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 4.

Biden Puts a Kinder, Gentler Spin on ‘America First’

To lead abroad, Joe Biden argued in his first foreign-policy speech as president, America must heal itself.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield answers questions during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington on Jan. 27.

Gumbo Diplomacy Comes to Turtle Bay

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is set to take center stage at the United Nations.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a welcome ceremony at the State Department in Washington on Jan. 27.

Let 100 Foreign Services Bloom

Creating new cadres will open doors for underrepresented communities—and for better engagement abroad.

A U.N. police officer stands at an empty entrance at the United Nations Sept. 22, 2020.

India’s Seat at the Table

The country has long been denied a permanent place on the U.N. Security Council, but it has itself to blame.

Robert Gersony (left) in Dominica in 1979.

The Greatest Humanitarian You’ve Never Heard Of

Bob Gersony was a mostly anonymous U.S. diplomat—and his country’s best model for creating change in the world.

Workers pack syringes at the Hindustan Syringes factory in Faridabad, India on Sept. 2, 2020.

India’s Vaccine Diplomacy

The world’s pharmacy is looking to inoculations to build friendly ties around the world—and compete with China.


The World Is Glad to See Biden Take Office

In major countries, the new U.S. president starts with favorable approval ratings from day one—with the notable exception of Russia.

President-elect Joe Biden listens as Secretary of State nominee Antony Blinken speaks at an event to introduce key foreign policy and national security nominees and appointments at the Queen Theatre on November 24, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. 

A Face Lift Can’t Fix the State Department

The Biden administration plans a quick reform of American diplomacy—but fixing the rot requires going much bigger.

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