Grass Roots Public Diplomacy Initiatives

Dr. Payne is a strong advocate of grass-root attempts and public diplomacy. Most recently, he has coordinated the Emerson Election Project, which was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and hosted by Emerson College. Two weeks before the 2008 Presidential Elections, 10 journalists from Indonesia arrived in Boston, MA for intensive workshop sessions. Consequently, the journalists were deployed in different states to cover the elections. As a follow-up to this project, Dr. Payne had been to Indonesia where he gave several speeches and presentation about the importance of public diplomacy and its place in American foreign policy. Click here to see a news piece (in Indonesian) about his presentations. During her recent trip to Indonesia, Secretary of State Ms. Hillary Rodham Clinton praised the Emerson Election Project as an example of how public diplomacy can help close the gap between cultures. In the picture, one of the project participants Mr. Muhammad Rasmadi with Ms. Secretary.

He has participated in the Third National Fulbright Conference in Turkmenistan in 2007 and gave presentations all over the country about Public Diplomacy both in 2007 and 2008. Below pictures are from his visit in 2008.

During the 4th International Symposium on Global Corporate Communication which took place in Lisbon, Portugal in 2007, Dr.Payne was invited as a keynote speaker, where he gave a speech entitled "The Challenges of Public Diplomacy for the Global Citizen and Corporation". The full text of his speech can be accessed here.

Payne is also the co-founder and General Director of the Saudi-Global Exchange, the first grass roots, people to people public diplomacy effort in the wake of 9/11. Created by Payne and his former student, Faisal al-Saud of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi-Global Exchange advocates for personal, grassroots, public diplomacy projects designed to promote understanding through communication. Since the founding of the Exchange in 2001, Payne has organized four trips of academics, business professionals and citizens-at-large from diverse international backgrounds for extensive educational trips to Saudi Arabia. In March, 2004, he coordinated the Global Marketing Competition of college students from the United States and Saudi Arabia for the Formula One Championships held in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, which was judged by media professionals from around the world, including movie mogul, James Cameron. His leadership in the Saudi-Global Exchange has been praised by President Bill Clinton at the inaugural Clinton Global Initiative in New York in 2005, in which Payne was an invited guest of honor. This grass roots effort has also been commended by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, U.S. Ambassador from Saudi Arabia Prince Turki Faisal, Prince Hamzah Hussein of Jordan, among others.

Recover Rosarito is another grass roots public diplomacy project coordinated by Dr. Payne. Dr Payne's Public Affairs class at Emerson College has worked for two years on a campaign to help the Baja Mexico community of Rosarito address the negative media campaign that has resulted in the violence of drug cartels in the wake of President Caledron's War on Drugs. The findings of the project are presented online at Baja Times, the English Language newspaper of Baja California made a news piece about the Recover Rosarito project on March 4, 2009.

Dr. Payne believes in the importance of bringing a global perspective to current issue. Recently, Prof. Enric Ordeix-Rigo and Prof. Jordi Xifra from Spain, along with Dr. Robert Brown of Salem College, participated in a panel discussion upon his invitation on public relations, public affairs and corporate social responsibility.