Citizen Diplomacy Int’l Mtg #18: City Diplomacy

About Citizen Diplomacy International

Due to globalization, the internet, rising education levels, and long-term democratization, citizen diplomacy is growing, and becoming a more important part of diplomacy and international affairs.  Thus, in 2020, the Public Diplomacy Council of America (PDCA), a US-based NGO devoted to advancing the field of public diplomacy, formed the Citizen Diplomacy Research Group (CDRG) to advance the research and practice of citizen diplomacy.  In 2023, the CDRG became Citizen Diplomacy International (CDI), a network and program of Learning Life, a Washington DC-based nonprofit devoted to developing innovative learning communities in order to widen and deepen participation in democracy and diplomacy.  

CDI meets every three months online via Zoom for 1.5 hours to share research and news on citizen diplomacy developments worldwide with an eye to building a vibrant global CD sector for a more participatory, equitable and sustainable world..  Meetings typically begin with two presentations on CD research or practice, followed by discussion of the presentations, then news and announcements of past or upcoming international CD-related initiatives, publications, funding, conferences, etc. 

Anyone  — including scholars, students, citizen diplomacy practitioners, current and retired official diplomats, and others interested — can join CDI to learn, network, and/or present substantial research or practice in citizen diplomacy. For more information or to join the CDI email list, contact You can also connect with CDI members via our Facebook group and Linkedin group, to which you can post citizen diplomacy-related articles, books, events, funding, etc. 

For more about CDI, click here.  For the video recording of this CDI meeting at Learning Life’s Youtube Channel, click here.  Photos from the meeting below.  

Meeting Participants & Agenda


The meeting drew 42 participants from at least 16 countries: The Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Romania, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Korea, Philippines, USA, Colombia, Suriname, St Lucia. 


1) Opening Remarks & Introductions  (10 minutes)

Review of meeting agenda.  During this time everyone is encouraged to post to the chat a one-paragraph bio about themselves, including your name, city, country, job title and organization.  

2) Two Presentations (30 minutes total): 


“City Diplomacy: State of the Research” by Sohaela Amiri, Senior Research Specialist, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, and Efe Sevin, Assistant Professor of International Relations, Towson University. 

Two Examples of Citizen Diplomacy: Seattle-Tashkent Sister City and Target Seattle” by Dan Peterson, former President of Seattle-Tashkent Sister Cities Association, and Betsy Bell, co-founder of Target Seattle and author of Open Borders. 

3) Questions & Discussion about the Presentations (40 minutes)

4) Announcements (10 minutes).    

  1. A look at the December issue of the Citizen Diplomacy Bulletin.
  2. Meeting participants have the opportunity to publicize citizen diplomacy events, publications, projects, programs, and related needs.  Participants can also post details and links to the Zoom chat box to share with the wider CDI email list.