The Foreign Service Journal, July/August 2018

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JULY-AUGUST 2018 17 Time to Lock Down Your Social Media Accounts? O n June 13 Foreign Policy reported that Trump appointee Mari Stull, a former lobbyist and wine blogger known online as “Vino Vixen,” has been vetting the social media accounts of senior-level Foreign Service members in search of “signs of ideological deviation.” FP reports that Ms. Stull is also looking for indications that these FS members may have signed off on Obama-era poli- cies—which is, of course, part of the job that career Foreign Service professionals must be able to do for any administration. Foreign Service members promote and defend all approved government policies, regardless of their own political beliefs. Ms. Stull was hired in April as a senior adviser in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs; since then, several senior officials have left the bureau. In looking at Ms. Stull’s own social media accounts, FP discovered that she gloated on Twitter that “the Global swamp (sic) will be drained” after Kevin Moley was brought on in January as the assistant secretary of state for interna- tional organizational affairs. Mr. Moley is now her boss, though one unnamed diplomat told FP that “she seemed to outrank Moley in influence.” FP reports that it is unclear whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo endorses or even knows about Ms. Stull’s work to uncover allegedly disloyal employees. “Diplomacy at Risk!”— A New TV Series Airs A new television series aims to bring the world of diplomacy into the liv- ing rooms of everyday Americans. Parts 1 and 2 of the nonpartisan, educational program “Diplomacy at Risk!” aired on April 26 and May 10, respectively, on public access televisions stations. Retired Foreign Service Officers Diana Watkins, Stephen Watkins and Janice Bay joined forces with television editors and producers to create the series in an effort to highlight the role diplomacy plays in keeping peace, preventing pandemics and protecting Americans, both at home and overseas. Producer Carol Loftur-Thun said she got involved in the effort after her daughter went to college at Virginia Com- monwealth University and discovered that many students there had never even heard of the State Department. With the sponsorship of the Mad Fox Brewing Company, the all-volunteer team has produced six episodes so far at a studio in Falls Church, Va. The episodes feature panels and one-on-one expert interviews covering topics such as global security, human rights, health care and international trade. Find out more at 2018 PDAA Awards Honor PD Officers T he 2018 winners of the 21st annual Public Diplomacy Alumni Association Awards for Excellence in Public Diplomacy Continued on page 20 Contemporary Quote: A Picture Worth 1,000Words were honored onMay 6 for demonstrating creativity and flexibility in addressing the challenges of influencing public opinion in today’s global media environment. From creating educational scholar- ships and producing social media plat- forms to training foreign official spokes- persons in the art of media strategies and developing traditional exhibits, winners from our embassies in Korea, Panama, Thailand and Iraq showed that PD officers have to be flexible and creative in crafting the right strategy for the right situation. Information Officer Adrienne Bory was hailed for her visionary use of social media platforms to get out accurate, positive stories about U.S. engagement in Panama. These tools were instrumental in turning around public opinion when the country’s traditional media attacked the United States over money-laundering sanctions, and when false accounts erupted that the United States planned to use Panama as a staging ground for an invasion of Venezuela. Bory produced videos, which often went viral, that portrayed then-Ambas- sador John Feeley as an approachable German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s viral Instagram post from the June G7 summit. Photo by German Cabinet’s official photographer Jesco Denze.