Jay Snyder is a philanthropist, businessman, Democratic Party activist and a diplomat.

Mr. Snyder is also a principal of HBJ Investments, LLC, and Ashfield Consulting Group, a financial services firm.Snyder has also served as vice president of Biocraft Laboratories, and as managing director for the Mayberry Core Asset Management Group.

Public Diplomacy

Jay Snyder is a member of the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, a congressionally chartered body that analyzes and provides recommendations on U.S. efforts to understand, engage, inform, and influence the world. Reporting to the President of the United States and housed within the U.S. State Department, the Commission has produced several reports including one aimed at improving the State Department’s ability to attract and retain qualified public diplomacy personnel.

Jay Snyder serves as Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Open Hands Initiative, a U.S.-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to improving people-to-people understanding and friendship throughout the world by fostering exchanges and other projects that emphasize our basic shared values and common humanity.

In 2010, Mr. Snyder was selected by Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo to serve on his transition committee for Economic Development and Labor, which is tasked with recruiting, reviewing and recommending high-level leaders to staff New York State agencies charged with leading job creation and growing New York’s economy.

In 2005, Mr. Snyder was appointed to serve as a Commissioner on the New York State Commission for Public Authority Reform.

From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Snyder served as Public Delegate, United States Representative to the 55th United Nations General Assembly, functioning as a representative on general policy matters, reform issues, and the Millennium Summit, and formulated and presented statements before the U.N. on a variety of public diplomacy questions.

Mr. Snyder serves on the Foreign Policy Program Leadership Committee at Brookings Institution. Previously he served on the Advisory Board of the Brookings’ Saban Center/Council on Foreign Relations Middle East Project. He is also a board member of The Humpty Dumpty Institute, Phoenix House and a member of the Board of Governors of the Milano Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy. He joined the Share Our Strength’s National Task Force to End Childhood Hunger.

In late 2005, the Advisory Commission published its annual report, giving strong recommendations and guidance on the future of US public diplomacy. The group states that in the short term, a central goal is to establish platforms for cross-cultural dialogue, noting that “two-way communication is critical to fostering a sense of shared values and trust." The report also provides recommendations on improving long-term communications, including the development of virtual centers for cultural exchange and the establishment of new English language inititiatives. The Commission’s conclusions highlight the increasing importance of modernizing communications in under-developed nations, providing a critical link for the West to engage its world audience.

In a discussion panel at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival, Snyder gave his commentary on the American government’s attempts to build its image abroad. Titled, “We Hate You, But Please Send Us More Austin Powers," the group looks at the way in which foreign policy and diplomacy is set not only by the government, but also by popular culture, both advertently and inadvertently. Snyder gives his perspective on two government developments, Alhurra, a US-based satellite television network, and Radio Sawa, both broadcast throughout much of the Middle East. As he states, these creations are having a very beneficial effect on Middle Eastern societies, providing an impartial and concise take on news and world developments. A quick comment, Snyder notes, “that if al-Sawa [is] broadcasting 100 percent news and is the number one station then it must be having an impact on the populations that are listening."

Publication & Articles

PbWinter 11:05, 6 Jun 2006 (PDT)

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