Peter G. Peterson is Senior Chairman & co-Founder of The Blackstone Group, an investment banking firm. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also currently chairman of the Institute for International Economics and president of The Concord Coalition. He formerly served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Peterson has also had a long service record for the US government. He has served as the assistant to the president for Int’l Economic Affairs and as Secretary of Commerce.

Public Diplomacy

In an interesting article published in early 2004, Peterson discusses the possibilities of privatized public diplomacy efforts. He notes that even two years after the 9/11 attacks, we have yet to establish a functioning public/private partnership for guidingUS public diplomacy efforts. Yet Peterson notes an already-existing establishment that has the structure to be a perfect public diplomacy organization:

"We already have a successful working model for such a venture. Founded by the US Congress in 1967 to develop and provide access to quality, non-commercial programming for American viewers, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has succeeded admirably. The CPB has helped establish or has supported programmes including The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and American Playhouse. Recently, it expanded internet operations and resources for students and teachers."

"A corporation for public diplomacy, modelled on the CPB but intended for an international audience, should be responsible for producing content and helping distribute US public diplomacy programmes through television, books, magazines, public speakers and the internet. A CPD would have several advantages. First, it could attract and nurture top talent, people who might not choose to work direct for the US government. Private sector participation in public diplomacy also provides, to an extent, a "heat shield" that could help in controversial issues that might have negative political or diplomatic repercussions if the government's hand were too visible."

Peterson’s articles and commentary on public diplomacy is expansive. For a listing of his contributions, please see his Council on Foreign Relations Biography.

Publications, Articles, & Commentary

Additional Resources

PbWinter 15:11, 10 Jul 2006 (PDT)

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