Coordinator for the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP) Dawn McCall is scheduled to visit Taiwan on Tuesday to experience first-hand US public diplomacy outreach, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) announced yesterday.
“One of the reasons that she has decided to come to Taiwan is because our [American Corner] programs in Taipei and Taichung have been so successful that she wanted to come and see them herself,” AIT spokesperson Sheila Paskman said by telephone.
The American Corner is a joint partnership project between US overseas missions and institutions in the host countries, sponsored by the US Department of State to serve as information resource centers and to host a wide variety of events.
The first American Corner in Taiwan was opened at National Taichung Library in 2005 and it was joined by a second at Kaohsiung Public Library in 2009. The third opened at Taipei Public Library in March this year.
Paskman said the visit by McCall, the first visit to Taiwan by an IIP official, is a real compliment to both the AIT and Taiwanese “on the success we have doing some of our public outreach programs, such as our American corners, speaker programs and exhibitions.”
McCall, who became IIP coordinator in July 2010, is responsible for directing the bureau as it advances US foreign policy goals and the national interest by creating and delivering communications programs that inform and engage international audiences.
During her four-day visit, McCall is also scheduled to have a discussion with officials from the Ministry of Education, bloggers and academics on “how to use social media and the Internet to further public diplomacy,” Paskman said.
McCall also plans to visit the American Corners in Taipei and Taichung, the AIT said.
The AIT said that McCall is a business leader experienced in establishing and operating media businesses in international markets. She founded International Media & Entertainment Partners, an international media consultancy, in 2009, it said. From 1999 to 2007, McCall was president of Discovery Networks International, a division of Discovery Communications.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed McCall’s visit.
In a statement, the ministry said McCall would meet with President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Minister of Foreign Affairs Timothy Yang (楊進添) and Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧).