Tara Sonenshine is senior advisor at the United States Institute of Peace. She has served as special advisor to National Security Adviser Samuel Berger, and in various roles at the White House. Sonenshine has been the transition director for the National Security Council and was responsible for managing a review process of foreign policy goals for the Clinton administration. Sonenshine has also served as special assistant to President Clinton and deputy director of communications for the NSC (1994–95).

In 1982, Sonenshine began joined ABC News, where she served as assistant to the vice president. She soon became editorial producer of Nightline. During her time at ABC News, Sonenshine earned ten News Emmy Awards for coverage of China, Iran, the Philippines, and South Africa, and won the Columbia–DuPont Award for coverage of the Los Angeles riots.

Public Diplomacy

In their October 2004 article, “Bridge the Gap Between West, Muslim World,�? David Hoffman and Sonenshine discuss a recent report from the US Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. The authors agree with the report in that public diplomacy is becoming increasingly important in connecting America and the Middle East. The two laud the report’s criticism of the current state of cultural exchanges, noting that funding for such programs has actually decreased in recent year.

Sonenshine and Hoffman do criticize though the report’s insistence on government initiatives as the primary means for bridging the growing divide. They proclaim that the spread of free news and media in the Middle East would have a significantly greater impact on connecting the two diverging worlds:

“More effective would be the expansion of independent media in the region -- locally, indigenously produced media that reflect the training and development of local, independent radio and television journalists in parts of the world that have only known state-run, government-owned media. That, coupled with greater exchanges, would reinforce the notion of a two-way street between the West and the Arab world.�?

Publications, Articles, & Commentary


PbWinter 11:44, 8 Jun 2006 (PDT)

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