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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 12, 2007

Under Secretary Karen Hughes Announces Three International Projects

Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen P. Hughes announced three new public diplomacy projects at a press conference Monday, December 10, at the Foreign Press Center in New York City.

The projects included a video called "I Am America," created in partnership with the private sector organization Business for Diplomatic Action (BDA); a photo book called "America Is" for young people overseas; and a new America.gov website providing information for audiences around the world.

"These new tools - in video, print, and on-line -will help us reach out to overseas audiences in ways that are highly compelling and user-friendly," said Under Secretary Hughes. "They will tell the American story to new generations and in new ways."

Keith Reinhard, president of Business for Diplomatic Action, presented the video "I Am America" as a gift from the non-profit organization to the Department of State. Set to the score of "America the Beautiful," the four-minute video features iconic scenes of America and Americans and will help promote a welcoming image of America to international audiences. It is designed to be used in consular waiting rooms, on Embassy websites, and at Embassy representational and cultural events.

The "America Is" picture book is geared toward younger foreign audiences (ages 8-14). The book highlights 15 positive values defining Americans, including love of family, freedom of speech, and equal rights. It was designed for use in English as a second language courses, summer camps, schools, and libraries. The publication will be made available to U.S. embassies around the globe.

The America.gov website replaces the current usinfo.state.gov website on January 15 with an updated format and new video and blogging features. One new feature includes expanded coverage of the 2008 presidential election as a way of explaining the American electoral system for foreign audiences.

BDA is a private-sector non-profit directed by leading communications, marketing, political science, global development and media professionals. The film "I Am America" was created by GSDM's Idea City, an advertising and communications company based in Austin, Texas. Images in the film were donated by Getty Images of Seattle, Washington. Idea City and BDA also contributed their professional services free of charge to the State Department.

Contact: For additional information, please contact Rena Pederson at PedersonRM@state.gov, 202 647-7442.


Released on December 12, 2007

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