This event is now VIRTUAL ONLY

As a safety measure, this year’s conference will be held virtually. If you have already registered to attend in-person, please look for a follow-up email with the livestream link. There will be no in-person attendance. If you have not yet registered and would like to join the discussion on October 30, please register for this FREE event using the link below.

October 30, 2021, 9:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Click here to watch the recorded program

The rapid evolution of technology has drastically changed the ways in which information is developed, processed, shared, and consumed. Previously, diplomats and journalists were among the few select actors responsible for performing the challenging, and sometimes dangerous, task of going out and reporting to the public and the key decision-makers on what happened in the far-off corners of the world important to U.S. national interest. Information now comes from everywhere, often distorted, and many consumers are poorly equipped to make reasoned judgments on what reaches them. Foreign governments and malign actors, like Russia, China, Iran, and others, have access to much broader global audiences, which has led to a resurgence in state-sponsored disinformation efforts, expanded propaganda campaigns, and outright information warfare. What are the implications of these developments for U.S. national security and diplomacy? Can the U.S. advocate effectively at home and abroad? How does this new informational landscape impact formulation of foreign policy, and public diplomacy? And what is the role of journalists and diplomats in addressing some of these new informational challenges?

To answer these and other questions, the conference will bring together a diverse group of experts. David D. Pearce, a former U.S. Ambassador to Algeria and Greece and before that chief correspondent for the United Press International, will draw on his experiences as a diplomat and a journalist to lay out the complexities facing both journalists and diplomats in the new era of instant information flows and 24/7 news cycles.

Glyn Davies, a three-time ambassador, and former executive director of the National Security Council will focus on the topic of foreign propaganda, and how it is distinguished from public diplomacy, and why concerns for reputation and truth are vital in conducting U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy.

Carol Giacomo, former diplomatic correspondent for Reuters in Washington and member of The New York Times editorial board from 2007-2020, will provide a journalist’s perspective on the changes in the media environment faced by journalists and how such changes impact their relationships with their diplomatic colleagues, foreign contacts, and domestic audiences.

The keynote address will feature Nick Schifrin of the PBS NewsHour, who will reflect on the theme of the conference through the lens of his career as an award-winning foreign correspondent covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, Middle East, Russia, China, and other parts of the world for PBS, Al Jazeera, and ABC News. 


Click here to view this year's program!

Suggested Readings



Keynote: Nick Schifrin

Nick Schifrin is the foreign affairs and defense correspondent for PBS NewsHour, based in Washington, D.C. He leads NewsHour's foreign reporting and has created week-long, in-depth series for NewsHour from China, Russia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Cuba, Mexico, and the Baltics. The PBS NewsHour series "Inside Putin's Russia" won a 2018 Peabody Award and the National Press Club's Edwin M. Hood Award for Diplomatic Correspondence. In November 2020, Schifrin received the American Academy of Diplomacy’s Arthur Ross Media Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs.

Thomas Jefferson Foundation Speaker: Tyson Reeder

Assistant Professor of History at the University of Virginia and Assistant Editor of The Papers of James Madison


Ambassador David D. Pearce

Former U.S. Ambassador to Algeria and Greece and former chief correspondent for the United Press International.

Ambassador Glyn Davies

Former three-time ambassador and former Executive Secretary of the National Security Council.

Carol Giacomo

Former diplomatic correspondent for Reuters in Washington, covered foreign policy for the international wire service for more than two decades before joining the New York Times editorial board in August 2007.

For questions, please contact Whitney Pippin (Scholarly Programs Coordinator, ICJS) at