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GW's School of Media and Public Affairs Names Alberto Miguel Fernandez as Next Public Diplomacy Fellow

February 06, 2007

 WASHINGTON - Alberto Miguel Fernandez, director of the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy in the Bureau of Near East Affairs, will join The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs as its second Public Diplomacy Fellow in Fall 2007. Each year, the U.S. Department of State assigns a career diplomat to the School of Media and Public Affairs' Public Diplomacy Institute where he or she will write, teach, and direct colloquia.

"My colleagues and I welcome Alberto Fernandez as the next Public Diplomacy Fellow at the Public Diplomacy Institute," said Lee Huebner, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs. "We are eager to have a diplomat of his stature and reputation join us in the fall."

Steven Livingston, associate professor of media and public affairs and international affairs and founder and chairman of the board of directors of the Public Diplomacy Institute, called Fernandez's appointment a "wonderful development for GW." He continued, "Alberto Fernandez is a superb Foreign Service officer and consummate professional. We are honored to have him join our faculty and students."

Fernandez said, "I am delighted to have been chosen to represent the public diplomacy professionals of the State Department at GW's School of Media and Public Affairs for the upcoming academic year. I hope I can contribute to a deeper understanding of this crucial government endeavor, especially in those regions where I have spent most of my career. Communicating effectively with the Arab and Muslim world, with real credibility and humility, is an essential skill in the great ongoing struggle of our time."

Since joining the U.S. State Department in 1983, Fernandez has served in embassies in the United Arab Emirates, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Kuwait, Syria, Guatemala, Jordan, and Afghanistan. In addition to his service overseas, Fernandez has served as the Washington, D.C., country affairs officer for the department's Near East Affairs, which he has directed since May 2005. Fernandez is a frequent participant with the Arab media, appearing more than 400 times since the summer of 2005 and commenting in Arabic on a wide range of US foreign policy issues. He also has served on temporary assignments in Iraq.

Fernandez is highly distinguished in his field and served as a member of the department's 46th Senior Seminar at the Foreign Service Institute. His numerous awards include the 2006 Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy, the Linguist of the Year Award, and the Superior Honor Award for his work in Afghanistan.

Established in 2001 by GW's School of Media and Public Affairs and GW's Elliott School of International Affairs, in collaboration with the non-profit Public Diplomacy Council, GW's Public Diplomacy Institute seeks to advance public diplomacy through scholarship, research, consultation, and professional services.

GW's School of Media and Public Affairs teaches how ideas and information are communicated through the media. The school combines liberal arts education with professional skills, promoting a combination of theory and practice.

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

For more information about The George Washington University, visit



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