Latonero leads conversation with State Dept.'s Alec Ross on tech and diplomacy

In an era of WikiLeaks and network-accelerated revolutions, the State Department is fortunate to have Alec Ross on its team.

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Research director Mark Latonero hosted a lively conversation on September 12 with Ross, who has led the effort to update and transform diplomacy for the digital age as the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Innovation.

During the discussion, which was hosted by the Pacific Council on International Policy in downtown Los Angeles, Ross touched on the core pillars of the State Department’s ambitious 21st century statecraft agenda, from global Internet freedom to the collaboration with the Red Cross for the Text Haiti campaign.

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Ross has made waves as the force behind recent cultural change at the State Department, and his 2009 appointment by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton seems especially prescient given recent events.

While he has been a key driver of technology in U.S. efforts abroad, Ross calls┬áSec. Clinton–who says she will be leaving the State Department after only one term–“the godmother of 21st century statecraft.”

Whether the State Department continues to pursue its innovative agenda after Clinton’s departure remains to be seen. In the meantime, you can keep up with all the latest digital diplomacy developments as one of Alec Ross’s (@AlecJRoss) nearly 400,000 Twitter followers.

This article was written by Ev Boyle, Global Communication M.A. Student