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Hearts, Minds and the Art of Soft Power: U.S. Diplomats Talk Public Diplomacy

  • Trinity College 6 Hoskin Avenue, toronto Toronto Canada (map)

How can new media be harnessed around the world to shape preferences, opinions, and allegiances? What role does our generation play in interacting with states, be they foreign or our own?

Who is the focus of diplomacy? States, non-state actors―the public? Is it possible to win a conflict not just on military might, but also with ideas? As Joseph Nye defines it, “smart power.”

These are but some of the questions this discussion aims to answer.

The United States was, and continues to be, a pioneer in the field of public diplomacy, working to establish direct communication with populations around the world, in addition to their governments.

Join Kay Mayfield, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, for a critical discussion on public diplomacy and its relevance today.

Light refreshments will be served. 

This event is presented by Diplomats on Campus and the IR Society.



Kay Webb Mayfield is a public diplomacy officer and a member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor. She served most recently in Washington, D.C., as Deputy Director of Career Development and Assignments in the Bureau of Human Resources. Her overseas assignments include Pakistan, Guatemala, Taiwan, and Nigeria in public diplomacy positions. In Washington, she has served in the Executive Secretariat, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, in addition to a previous tour as a Career Development Officer in HR/CDA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and a master’s degree in journalism from The University of Texas at Austin. She is married to Mark Mayfield, a consular officer and member of the Senior Foreign Service. She sits on the Board of Fulbright Canada.