Mike Duffin with U.S. Ambassador to Denmark Rufus Gifford at a conference in Aarhus, Denmark.
Photo courtesy of Mike Duffin

U.S. State Department names Annenberg alumnus newest recipient of Franklin Award

USC Annenberg alumnus Mike Duffin (MPD ‘13) was recently named a recipient of the Franklin Award from the U.S. Department of State. As a policy advisor in the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism, Duffin received this award for his work in advancing U.S. foreign policy through both innovation and leadership.

The Franklin Award, named in honor Benjamin Franklin, recognizes individuals’ achievements in many areas important to the State Department from innovation and leadership to crisis management and negotiation.

“I am honored to receive an award named for our country’s first diplomat. Benjamin Franklin recognized the importance of diplomacy, both behind closed doors and in the public’s eye, and understood the values and concerns of his foreign counterparts,” Duffin said.

During his time at USC, Duffin worked in the communications department at the USC Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), a center that aims to improve the country’s security through an integrated program of research, education and outreach. Their work informs and supports decisions made by elected officials and governmental employees at the national, state, and local levels. He also conducted research for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, (formerly called Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications), an interagency entity that coordinates U.S. counterterrorism messaging to foreign audiences.

Nick Cull, the director of the Master of Public Diplomacy program, said the State Department honored Duffin’s drive and originality. He called the award “great news” for the MPD program.

The award reflects great credit on him," Cull said.  "It also represents official recognition of the kind of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking which is built into the public diplomacy program at USC, and which our graduates have been delivering across the globe for the past decade.”