From March 12 to March 16, 2018 first-year Master’s of Public Diplomacy students flew to Washington, D.C. to conduct the annual Roving Conference. There, the students organized over a dozen meetings with high-level practitioners of public diplomacy in both the public and private sectors in order to receive insight and advice about their positions in the field. They met with Congressman Adam Schiff, officials from the Department of State, and Deputy Chief of Mission of Mexico in D.C. Ambassador José Antonio Zabalgoitia. Additionally, they discussed the future of aid with international organizations such as the International Crisis Group and Save the Children, they held meetings with media outlets such as Vox and the Atlantic and toured the Facebook D.C. offices. The students were extremely impressed by their cultural diplomacy engagement with the director of the Department of International Affairs at the Organization of American States (OAS) Jane Thery. Thery illustrated public diplomacy in her career by giving the students a tour of the OAS Historical Main Building and the OAS Art Museum of the Americas.
For the first time, USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism Career Advisor Jennifer Kalaidis joined them on this trip, acknowledging its importance in raising the profile of the program in Washington, D.C. and attracting interest to it.
In between meetings, students had the chance to meet up with MPD program alumni currently living in D.C., attend a USC Annenberg D.C. Alumni dinner and explore U.S. sites.