A Powerful Force

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.

Understanding Citizen Diplomacy

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.

Thought leaders from across the public, private, and social sectors see the value in citizen diplomacy.

We have an important obligation to our young people to equip them with the necessary linguistic and cultural competencies to enable them to interact appropriately with others around the world.  These skills will enable young Americans to embrace their role in representing the U.S. as citizen diplomats as they live and work in our global society.

Marty Abbott Executive Director, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

In an era of bluster and bombs, citizen diplomacy is a builder of bridges.

Madeleine Albright U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001)

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them.

Francis Bacon Philosopher, Essayist

Average Americans, in their natural state, are the best ambassadors a country can have.

Eugene Burdick & William Lederer Authors of The Ugly American

The work of the citizen diplomacy community is not just a nice thing to do; its repercussions have far-reaching implications. Future global prosperity, peace, and stability are dependent upon increased international cooperation, collaboration, and mutual understanding.

Jennifer Clinton President, Cultural Vistas

I have long believed, as have many before me, that peaceful relations between nations requires understanding and mutual respect between individuals. If only people will get together, then so eventually will nations.

Dwight D. Eisenhower 34th President of the United States

Imagine the real, significant value that could be built; to be able to do things through citizen diplomacy that we could never do through checkbook philanthropy.

Stan Litow Former VP of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM and President, IBM International Foundation, Author of "The Challenge for Business and Society: From Risk to Reward"

America’s greatest asset is our citizens. While governmental interventions and assistance are crucial, they leave a lot of room for purposeful citizen diplomats to generate sustainable achievements that result from partnerships built on merit, trust, and mutual interests.

Benjamin Orbach Founder, America’s Unofficial Ambassadors

Citizen diplomacy has tremendous impact on the effectiveness of business, government, education, and social entities around the world. It impacts the ability of entire countries, regions, and cultures to thrive and resolve shared challenges. All meaningful and effective relationships between any two entities are built by individuals acting responsibly and with purpose. Corporations, governments, educational institutions, social enterprises, countries, and cultures don’t interact; people do. Every individual has the right and responsibility to understand and embrace that personal impact, and leverage the opportunities available to help them contribute purposefully in our globalized society. The Center is here to unite, advance, and amplify those efforts.

Diane Rasmussen Former Director, The Center for Citizen Diplomacy

In this interconnected world of the 21st century, it is crucial that the United States embrace the vital role American citizens play in contributing to a more peaceful world. More Americans of all ages need to be involved in international activities at home or abroad and all of us must become more globally fluent citizen diplomats. Our national security and economic competitiveness depend on it.

Ann Schodde President Emeritus, The Center for Citizen Diplomacy

Higher education is a space in which young adults from down the street and around the world encounter and engage peers from vastly different backgrounds.  College students acting as citizen diplomats take a grey scale world into high definition.

Downing Thomas Associate Provost & Dean of International Programs, University of Iowa

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 makes the world a smaller place. Through people-to-people exchanges, we build lasting friendships and relationships that we can learn and grow from. These positive exchanges open the door for future dialogue through mutual respect and understanding.

Larry Zimpleman Chairman, President & CEO, Principal Financial Group