The State Department has launched a new program that leverages the Internet and social media to conduct diplomatic missions. The program, called Virtual Student Foreign Service, is part of State's efforts to use technology and a commitment to service among young people to facilitate new forms of diplomatic engagement, according to the agency's Dipnote blog.
Over the summer, State partnered with 37 diplomatic missions and associated projects with 44 current or former interns who speak 24 different languages and are now attending universities across the U.S. The students will continue to work on projects through 2010 that focus on assisting in the development of the Iraq National Museum Web site, helping to teach the English language and American culture through social media outreach, environmental and conservation curriculum planning and researching and promoting gender equality.
"Working from college and university campuses, American Students will partner with our embassies abroad to conduct digital diplomacy that reflects the realities of the networked world," State Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a recent New York University speech.