The United States and Mexico are facing a crisis in bilateral relations. Divisive rhetoric on border security, trade negotiations and immigration on both sides of the Rio Grande is leading to a collapse in public perception with significant policy implications.
In response, Sunnylands and the U.S. Mexico Network at the University of Southern California convened a small group of high-level diplomatic and public diplomacy specialists from the United States and Mexico to discuss strategies for upgrading public diplomacy in the bilateral relationship.
The gathering on April 27-29, 2018 at Sunnylands, titled “Public Diplomacy for a Strong U.S.-Mexico Relationship,” featured participation by the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, former ambassadors from both nations, and experts in public diplomacy.
The dialogue identified several initiatives that can be undertaken which align with best practices in public diplomacy, including:
- Enhanced education and military exchanges, improved storytelling in public diplomacy efforts to targeted segments of the population
- Leveraging the 2026 World Cup (if the bid by Mexico, the United States and Canada is successful) to catalyze a North American public diplomacy initiative,
- Strengthen linkages of people of Mexican origin to diaspora networks
- Better engage the private sector in public diplomacy efforts
- Capitalize on relationships between subnational governments (such as governors, mayors and state legislatures) in the absence of federal bilateral cooperation
- Promote philanthropy as a public diplomacy tool.