This is America: Examining the International Press’ Coverage of American Foreign Policy Officials

by Nina Burges

Faculty mentor: Professor Surupa Gupta

There is universal recognition that the foreign policy making talent in the United States is woefully unrepresentative of America’s vibrant minority populations, and more is required to attract minorities to pursue public service careers representing the United States abroad and accurately reflect its diversity. However, little attention is paid towards the international response to America’s diversity as it relates to when people of color represent the United States as diplomats, foreign service officers and White House foreign policy officials, as well as in less official capacities as scholars and humanitarian workers. These concerns assume new relevance against the backdrop of the United States’ outsized cultural reach and the international popularity of American films that show “true American culture” and a global introspection about race in America. This presentation will examine the English Language foreign press coverage in 6 countries of the appointment of General Colin Powell, Dr. Condoleezza Rice and Dr. Susan Rice to senior WH and cabinet-level Foreign Policy positions of Secretary of State and National Security Advisor respectively from 2000 to 2013 during the Bush and Obama Administrations. Ultimately, the presentation will analyze and demonstrate the influence of gender and race in the coverage of these individuals to demonstrate the importance of diversity to offering a full understanding of the American experience.