Tag Archives: Richard Boly

Are You Ready for the Naked Diplomat? FCO’s Man in Beirut Strips Down

… to 140 characters, that is. Sorry, cannot pass up on The World Today’s title :-).

Tom Fletcher CMG, the British Ambassador in Beirut since August 2011 has an interesting piece in the Dec/Jan issue of The Today’s World. An iPad rather than letters of credence? A digital demarche? The need to  interact, not just transmit? Are you ready to abandon the banquet in favor of the smart phone? Excerpt below:

via Chatham House’s The World Today, Volume 68, Number 11 (pdf):

When people ask me whether at 37 I am too young to be an ambassador, I sometimes wonder if perhaps I am too old. I worked in No 10 for the last ‘pen’ PM, Tony Blair; for the first ‘email’ PM, Gordon Brown; and for the first ‘iPad’ PM, David Cameron. Delivery of government services by social media is being transformed.
[...]
Diplomacy has always been Darwinian: we have to evolve or die, just as diplomats did when sea routes opened up or the telephone was invented. Someone once said that you could replace the Foreign Office with a fax. We saw off the fax, and – only this year  – the telegram. Now we have to show that you cannot replace us with Wikipedia and Skype.

Social media are now indispensable to our core tasks: information harvesting; analysis; influence; promotion of English as the code for cyberspace; crisis management; commercial work. Imagine a reception at which all your key contacts were interacting. You would not stand in the corner silently or shouting platitudes, nor delegate the event.

In this brave new digital world, the most effective diplomats will carry an iPad rather than letters of credence; a digital demarche will be more powerful than a diplomatic one; and the setpiece international conference of the 20th century will be replaced by more fluid, open interaction with the people whose interests we represent. For the first time ever, diplomats can engage directly on a meaningful scale with the countries we live in. We no longer have to focus solely on elites to make our case.

This is exciting, challenging and subversive. Getting it wrong could start a war: imagine if a diplomat misguidedly tweeted a link to the offensive anti-Islam  film which provoked riots across the Muslim world. Getting it right has the potential to rewrite the diplomatic rulebook.
[...]
The digital revolution has opened up a new frontier. Equipped with the right kit and the right courage, diplomats should – as ever – be among its pioneers. Diplomacy not just for diplomats; but not diplomacy without diplomats. Jamie Oliver pioneered the idea of ‘The Naked Chef’ – pared back, simplified, focused on the essential essence of the job. The Naked Diplomat needs a smartphone and those oldest of diplomatic attributes – thick skin and an open mind.

Continue reading, Our man in Beirut strips down to 140 characters.

He also blogged about the naked diplomat here.  Follow Ambassador Tom Fletcher on Twitter @hmatomfletcher.

The State Department has Alex Ross upfront on the digital frontier.  There is also career diplomat, Richard Boly of eDiplomacy.  And we have several American ambassadors populating Twitter.  But we don’t know that we have any of the our credentialed ambassadors openly talk about their thoughts and their work on how they bridge the digital world in diplomacy.  If anyone has talked about this inside the building and we missed it, zap me a note.

domani spero sig

 

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2012 Sammies Finalists – The State Department Nominees

The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies) pay tribute to America’s dedicated federal workforce, highlighting those who have made significant contributions to our country. According to the Partnership for Public Service, the honorees are chosen based on their commitment and innovation, as well as the impact of their work on addressing the needs of the nation.

The 2012 finalists include three nominees from the State Department.

2012 Finalist—Call to Service Medal

This award will recognize a federal employee whose professional achievements reflect the important contributions that a new generation brings to public service. This medal is accompanied by a $5,000 award.

Shane Morris
Position: Supervisor, Diplomatic Courier Service
Agency: Department of State
Location: Germany

Achievement: Overcame numerous obstacles during the Arab Spring uprisings to ensure that U.S. diplomats in the Middle East could securely dispatch and receive classified documents and equipment.

2012 Finalists—National Security and International Affairs Medal
This award recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to national security and international affairs (including defense, military affairs, diplomacy, foreign assistance and trade). This medal is accompanied by a $3,000 monetary award.

Michelle Bernier-Toth
Position: Managing Director, Overseas Citizens Services
Agency: Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
Location: Washington, D.C.

Achievement: Leads the effort to prepare the staff at U.S. embassies and consulates to help protect and evacuate Americans caught up in uprisings, wars and natural disasters.

Richard Boly
Position: Director, Office of eDiplomacy
Agency: Department of State
Location: Washington, D.C.

Achievement: Created innovative social media and online platforms for State Department employees around the world to collaborate, share information and connect with important outside audiences.

The finalists are contenders for nine Service to America Medals, including Federal Employee of the Year. Medal recipients will be announced on September 13 at a Washington, D.C. black-tie gala.

Read more about the Sammies here.

Domani Spero

 

 

 

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Filed under Career Employees, Nominations, State Department