An art exhibit featuring more than 60 large photographs of people, cities, faiths and natural wonders from all over the world sprung up on the second floor of the USC Annenberg building in September of 2009.
The photographer, Paul Rockower, was not a full-time artist but a Master’s in Public Diplomacy student who had traveled to more than 50 countries with the hope of sharing the captured moments with a larger audience. The exhibit did that and more, as it was later featured by both the Voice of America and GlobalPost as an example of public diplomacy in the works.
“This all started because of a class I was taking on cultural diplomacy at USC,” says Paul, who studied Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at Brandeis University and is from Washington, D.C. “It speaks well to Annenberg and its connections and abilities to offer all sort of outlets for your work and creativity inside and outside of campus.”
Paul already has a fellowship lined up after graduation with the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, and from there he will head to India for a stint with its Ministry of Tourism. But his dream job is doing public diplomacy work for the India-Brazil-South Africa alliance, where he would like to do more public diplomacy analysis.
“Ultimately I’d like to get to Africa and do work in sub-Saharan Africa, maybe even teach public diplomacy there,” he says.
Paul and some classmates are already well on their ways to careers in public diplomacy by setting up a consulting firm called Public Diplomacy Corps.
“It already has some clients and looks promising,” he says. “A lot of people know what public diplomacy is, but not many truly understand it and know how it works. We’re trying to make public diplomacy more accessible for people.”