About Us

The Center for Citizen Diplomacy is a meeting place for organizations and individuals interested in meaningful global engagement across cultures at the person-to-person level.

About Us

Citizen diplomacy is the concept that every global citizen has the right, even the responsibility, to engage across cultures and create shared understanding through meaningful person-to-person interactions. Citizen diplomacy is recognized as a powerful force in building and sustaining a secure, economically sound, and socially interconnected world.

The Center for Citizen Diplomacy unites a movement toward purposeful global engagement by providing a collective voice, platforms, and tools for organizations that offer opportunities for individuals to be exemplary citizen diplomats. The Center works to advance global fluency in mutually beneficial dialogues, problem solving, and trust; the foundation of all true partnerships at the individual, organizational, or governmental level.

  • Mission

    The Center for Citizen Diplomacy promotes, expands, and celebrates opportunities for all individuals to be exemplary citizen diplomats and affirms the indispensable value of purposeful global engagement.

    Vision

    A world in which all individuals engage in person-to-person interactions that result in greater understanding between people and cultures. A world in which every citizen is a diplomat.

  • Every citizen, a diplomat

    In March of 2004, 33 national leaders from international exchange organizations — including the business and academic communities — convened in Racine, Wisconsin, with the expressed intent of pursuing strategies to strengthen America’s commitment to citizen diplomacy. From that meeting emerged a national campaign of state and local summits on citizen diplomacy, culminating in a national summit in Washington, D.C., in July of 2006.

    The Coalition for Citizen Diplomacy, representing more than 120 U.S. organizations, was formed to implement this campaign. This movement underscored the importance of positive and sustainable engagement of Americans in a host of international exchange and educational initiatives through innovative public and private partnerships.

    At the same time emerged the need to turn a nationwide spotlight on the importance and value of citizen diplomacy. As a result, the only entity of its kind in the nation — The Center for Citizen Diplomacy  — was formed as a strategic focal point for citizen diplomacy. Launched in July of 2006, the Center was established in Des Moines, Iowa.

    The Center operated as an independent 501c3 non-profit organization for six years, building a database of citizen diplomacy organizations across the country, crafting pilot programs to address emerging needs, and celebrating the achievements of citizen diplomats.

    In October of 2012, the Center for Citizen Diplomacy merged with PYXERA Global, a non-profit organization that strives to create ground-breaking partnerships between the private, public, and social sectors that leverage the innovation in each sector to create shared value for clients in emerging markets.

    The Center now operates as a division of PYXERA Global, and continues the work of its original mission. The PYXERA Global headquarter office is in Washington, D.C., while the Center’s home office remains in Des Moines, Iowa.

  • What is citizen diplomacy?

    Citizen diplomacy is the concept that every global citizen has the right, even the responsibility, to engage across cultural differences and create shared understanding through person-to-person interactions.

    Why is citizen diplomacy important?

    Citizen diplomacy builds individual and collective global fluency, which in turn creates economic opportunity, contributes to peace and stability, and develops leadership skills through global problem solving.

    In an era of unprecedented interconnectivity, individuals from around the world have the ability to share information and ideas instantaneously and work together to resolve common challenges. As contributors to a global community, every individual should understand the positive impact they can have as citizen diplomats and be empowered to act with meaning and purpose.

    What is global fluency?

    Global fluency is the level of global understanding, competence, and openness to experiences and cultures that people and communities exhibit while engaging in activities that make the world more secure, economically sound, and socially interconnected.

    Who are citizen diplomats?

    Citizen diplomats are teachers, students, young professionals, business executives, retirees, athletes, artists, humanitarians, adventurers, and any other individuals committed to being purposefully engaged global citizens.

    Citizen diplomacy is about more than just being a citizen of the world. The best citizen diplomats represent themselves, their culture, and their country in a positive way while reaching out to engage with other individuals beyond cultural and physical borders. Citizen diplomats are motivated by a responsibility to engage with the rest of the world in a meaningful, mutually beneficial dialogue.

    How do citizen diplomats actively engage?

    Citizen diplomats come from diverse backgrounds and have unique personalities, but there are some important skills they share in common:

    • Listen to others with compassion and an open mind;
    • Learn about history, culture, and ways of life and thinking different from their own;
    • Respect people’s rights to views and approaches other than their own;
    • Explore other cultures and places with curiosity and openness;
    • Act to understand, engage, and work with people from around the world;
    • Embrace opportunities to connect and make positive differences in the global community.
  • The new frontier of global engagement

    PYXERA Global creates groundbreaking partnerships between the public, private, and social sectors that leverage the unique attributes of each to create shared value and innovative solutions to complex challenges. The organization’s initiatives include a wide range of services from local content development, to global pro bono programs, and integrated community development efforts that transform lives and livelihoods.

    PYXERA Global prides itself on designing and managing solutions that achieve real-world goals yet also inspire, enrich, and endure. With a quarter century of experience in more than 90 countries, the PYXERA Global team is passionate and dedicated to navigating challenges and pinpointing purposeful global engagement opportunities for clients and partners.

    Learn More About PYXERA Global

Understanding Citizen Diplomacy

  • Citizen diplomacy is at the heart of everything we do at PYXERA Global. Building relationships across borders and creating global fluency in individuals and organizations makes the tough work of driving positive social change possible. At PYXERA Global, we no longer say that we work in the field of international development; “development” being something you do to someone. Our work is focused on fostering purposeful global engagement; “engagement” being something you do with someone, and for mutual benefit. While the majority of our work is in fostering public, private, and social sector organizations to engage globally in a purposeful manner, none of that is possible without the individual willingness to build relationships and understanding – citizen diplomacy.

    Deirdre White CEO, PYXERA Global
  • Citizen diplomacy is essential to being a good global citizen. Interacting across cultures and borders with respect and curiosity is the start of the types of relationships which grow into friendships, making the world more peaceful, more prosperous, and a lot more fun.

    Laura Asiala Interim Director, Center for Citizen Diplomacy
  • Citizen diplomacy is a powerful force in international relations because it is something every individual can engage in. Each of us can -- and should -- feel inspired to act as a citizen diplomacy every day. People-to-people interactions have the ability to shape the way each of us understand the world.

    Matt Clark Program Manager, Center for Citizen Diplomacy

Fostering Global Engagement

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