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Campus Advisories

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07/23/09 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

June 26, 2009

MEDIA CONTACT: Nick Massella

JULY 23, 2009


GW's Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication is hosting a day-long conference titled "Face-off to Facebook: From the Nixon-Khrushchev Kitchen Debate to Public Diplomacy in the 21st Century." The event marks the 50th anniversary of the American National Exhibition in Moscow - site of the famous Nixon-Khrushchev "Kitchen Debate" - and explores the opportunities for U.S. public diplomacy in a Web 2.0 world. Lunchtime remarks will be made by William Burns, under secretary of state for political affairs and former U.S. Ambassador to the Russian Federation.

The morning session will spotlight the 1959 Sokolniki Park Exhibition which, at the height of the Cold War, touched millions of Soviet citizens, giving them direct, unfiltered contact with American popular culture, consumer products and Russian-speaking American guides. Half a century later, panelists and participants will examine that remarkable summer and why it is considered a high point in the history of the Cold War and of U.S. public diplomacy. The exhibition was marked by the heated and sometimes humorous exchange between Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premiere Nikita Khrushchev in a model American kitchen.

The afternoon session will explore how today's world of instant global communication affords the same opportunities to be as innovative as the Moscow 1959 Exhibition. A new kind of U.S. web presence will be proposed, a cutting-edge public diplomacy game introduced, and leading new media thinkers and writers will offer their perspectives on how the digital revolution might be used in the service of public diplomacy.

The institute is part of GW's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and Elliott School of International Affairs.


Thursday, July 23, 2009; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Marvin Kalb, James Clark Welling Presidential Fellow
Blair Ruble, director, Kennan Institute
Frank Sesno, GW professor of media and public affairs


Sean Aday, director, GW's Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication
Casey Alt, Patrick Jagoda, and Harrison Lee; Duke Jenkins Collaboratory
George Clack, Bureau of International Information Programs, Department of State
Adam Conner, Facebook
George Feifer, author, former exhibit guide
Linda Gottlieb, film producer, former 1959 exhibit guide
Nina Khrushcheva, The New School
Sergei Khrushchev, historian and son of Nikita Khrushchev
Tim Lenoir, Duke University
Amb. William H. Luers, president, U.S. United Nations Association
Marc Lynch, director of GW's Institute for Middle East Studies
Jack Masey, designer, chief of design and construction, U.S. exhibition at Sokolniki Park
John O'Bryan, School for Advanced and International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
William Safire, New York Times columnist and former Richard Nixon speech writer; present at the Kitchen Debate
Nina Gilden Seavey, director, GW's Documentary Center
Clay Shirky, author, Here Comes Everybody
Ivan Sigal, Global Voices
Tatiana Sochurek, advertising executive, former exhibit guide
Eugene "Rocky" Staples, development official, former deputy managing director, U.S. exhibition at Sokolniki Park
Tomas Tolvaisas, Winona State University
Hans (Tom) Tuch, former USIA public diplomacy official


The George Washington University
Media and Public Affairs Building
Jack Morton Auditorium
805 21st St., Washington, D.C.
Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro (Blue and Orange lines)


The event is free open to the public. Registration is required. Please visit to register and learn more about the conference. Media can RSVP to Nick Massella at or 202-994-3087.

For more a complete event schedule and list of participants, visit

For more information about GW's School of Media and Public Affairs, visit

For more news about The George Washington University, visit

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