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Ambassador Heshem Elnakib


Role of Public Diplomacy in the Middle East

Ambassador Heshem Elnakib

Description: As I presented to the audience in last year's session the role of the American Public Diplomacy in reaching out to the populace in the Middle East and how the US can benefit from an active PD in setting its political message straight , I would like this year to examine the subject from the point of the Middle East. As an Egyptian Diplomat specialized in PD, I am currently working on improving our political message and how to best relay our quest to our partners in a more effective way ,while keeping intercultural and social relations as a catalyst in finding a common ground. Examining American Egyptian relations post revolution can serve as a great case study is to how PD can be a solid base in all our future endeavors to restore our long standing partnership and safeguard our common interests. I will present, based on actual field work, how PD works as a buffer zone in many crisis when traditional diplomacy has failed. It is my conviction among many others in the field that the future of the our bilateral interests relies greatly on our ability to use soft power through a sustained well strategized long term PD. Joint work force on the political and academic fronts should be created to set the ground for new approaches that would be able to deal with a new environment altogether that turned most of the traditional fields of PD obsolete .

Heshem Elnakib

Ambassador, Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ambassador Elnakib graduated from The American University in Cairo with a bachelor's in political science and a minor in economics, a Master of Arts in international relations from the International Institute of Public Administration in Paris, France, and a Doctor of Philosophy in history, specializing in the history of international relations and foreign policy, from the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow.Elnakib embarked on his diplomatic career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairsright after graduation.During the last 10 years, Elnakib has assumed various positions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including director and counselor, North American Department (1997-2000);director of the cabinet of the First Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs (2000-2001);spokesperson and head of press and public diplomacy 2007-2008, and currently as the Consul General at the Egyptian Consulate in San Francisco from 2008 to the present.Intermittently, he was assigned his third international post (2001-2007) as director, press counselor and spokesperson of press and information office of the Embassy of Egypt in Washington DC, and minister plenipotentiary with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Information.Elnakib wrote a number of commentaries and letters to the editor of various international journals and magazines, including New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal;he also wrote a number or articles in El Sayasa El Dawleya in Al Ahram newspaper. He is a member of the Academy of Political Science in New York and the National Press Club in Washington DC.