By convening thought leaders and citizen diplomats at national and local events, The Center for Citizen Diplomacy advances its mission while facilitating public dialogue.
Convening thoughts leaders to advance a shared vision
The Center for Citizen Diplomacy was founded to promote, honor, and serve the thousands of organizations that engage U.S. citizens in international activities at home and abroad.
In partnership with the U.S. State Department and in support of more than 1,000 U.S. non-governmental organizations conducting citizen diplomacy activities, The Center convened its first U.S. Summit for Global Citizen Diplomacy on November 16-19, 2010, in Washington, DC.
This historic event convened hundreds of citizen diplomacy thought leaders from the field to discuss their work and embark on a new Initiative to further the collective citizen diplomacy mission. It also honored exemplary organizations and individual citizen diplomats in order to inspire others.
In advance of the 2010 Summit, The Center for Citizen Diplomacy gathered dozens of experts in international relations and citizen diplomacy at the Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin, for a leadership forum to develop a strategic plan to dramatically increase the number of Americans who are engaged globally.
These leaders in international education, business, volunteer service, and community-based exchanges and initiatives reconvened in 2011 after the national Summit for a second Wingspread retreat to follow up on the action plan discussed at the Summit.
The Center facilitates public discussion of citizen diplomacy via forums and special events that draw private citizens and public officials interested in diplomacy and international relations. These events engage individuals from the worlds of business, education, non-profit organizations, and the media to facilitate conversations about critical global issues.
For example, The Center hosted a series of town hall events with 2008 presidential candidates to discuss citizen involvement in foreign relations. Democrats and Republicans alike participated in these events, underscoring the fact that global engagement and citizen diplomacy are truly non-partisan ideas.
Another example of public forums that The Center hosts is the “Who Speaks for Islam?” series. These gatherings around the country facilitated discussions with a prominent author whose work explored Gallup polling data about the impressions people have about Muslims, and the reality of most Muslims’ beliefs. The public events were opportunities for local communities to explore and discuss issues of global importance.