Global Ties Forum: Foreign Policy and the People


This past year has seen a high volume of conversations and reports about a need for greater subnational or city and state diplomacy to strengthen U.S. national security and build a more inclusive U.S. foreign policy. Subnational diplomacy has many angles and has achieved new prominence with the recent creation of an office and a Special Representative for Subnational Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State. How do these activities across the United States connect with longstanding public diplomacy initiatives that engage international audiences? How do we elevate the role that U.S. citizens already play, and can increasingly play, as active participants in diplomacy, building the trust and the relationships we need to advance foreign policy objectives?


View the full recording of the event here.



Erin Bromaghim | Deputy Mayor of International Affairs for the City of Los Angeles

Erin Bromaghim is the Deputy Mayor of International Affairs for the City of Los Angeles. She is also a Senior Visiting Fellow on City & State Diplomacy at the Truman Center for National Security. Erin previously spent 14 years as a senior civilian with the U.S. Department of Defense, where she managed interagency defense, intelligence, special operations, and security reform efforts. Erin entered federal civil service as a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Navy, later working for the U.S. Air Force, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and NATO. She holds degrees from Wake Forest University and Georgetown University, as well as a certificate in advanced project management from Stanford University.

Katherine Brown, Ph.D. | President & CEO, Global Ties U.S.

Katherine Brown, Ph.D., joined Global Ties U.S. in 2018. Previously, she was a Public Policy Manager at Facebook, Inc., where she was also in residence as a Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) International Affairs Fellow. From 2013-2016, she served as the Executive Director of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State, an office authorized by Congress to appraise and strengthen U.S. engagement activities with foreign citizens.

Katherine previously served in the U.S. government as an assistant to the National Security Advisor at the White House; as a communications advisor at the American Embassy in Kabul; and as a Professional Staff Member at the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the U.S. House of Representatives. She is the author of the book, “Your Country, Our War: The Press and Diplomacy in Afghanistan,” published by Oxford University Press in 2019.


Janet Elliott (moderator) | President and CEO, International Visitors Council of Los Angeles

Janet Elliot is the President and CEO of the International Visitors Council of Los Angeles (IVCLA), and leads the organization as it creates global dialogue through citizen diplomacy. Janet has been dedicated to promoting IVCLA’s mission and expanding its reach in the Los Angeles area throughout her more than two decades with the organization. Janet is deeply passionate about the critical importance of building international understanding and cooperation. She is also involved in the local community, serving on the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce’s World Trade Week Committee, and as Chair of the Heidelberg Club L.A. Chapter. She also recently served on the L.A./Beirut Sister Cities Board. When she’s not busy at IVCLA, she enjoys visiting the fantastic L.A. area museums, and traveling – wherever and whenever she has the chance to go.

Maryum Saifee | Senior Advisor for the Secretary’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion at the U.S. Department of State

Maryum Saifee is a U.S. diplomat. She is currently a senior advisor in the Secretary’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. She started her Foreign Service career in Cairo at the start of the Arab uprisings in 2011. She later served in Baghdad during the U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq and was spokesperson for the U.S. Consulate in Lahore. In Washington, she was a policy advisor in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, and the Secretary’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs.

Prior to joining the U.S. Department of State, she was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Jordan and an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Seattle.  She also consulted for the United Nations Development Program, Acumen Fund, and the Ford Foundation. In 2018, Maryum took a sabbatical from the US. Department of State to pursue a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship where she worked with the Human Rights Foundation, a network of dissidents from largely authoritarian regimes. In her personal capacity, she also led a 30-person task force on U.S. Department of State reform as a senior visiting fellow at the Truman Center for National Policy.  

Jian (Jay) Wang | Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy

Jian (Jay) Wang, Ph.D. is Director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and an Associate Professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He previously worked for the international consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients on matters of communication strategy and implementation across a variety of industries and sectors.

Jay has written widely on the role of communication in the contemporary process of globalization. He is co-editor of the book Debating Public Diplomacy: Now and Next; the author of Shaping China’s Global Imagination: Nation Branding at the World Expo; and his research has been published in numerous academic journals. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Communication.

Stacy White | Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges, U.S. Department of State

Stacy E. White joined the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges in January 2021. In that role, she is responsible for overseeing a broad array of professional, youth, cultural, sports and tech camp exchange programs for U.S. and international participants, including those supported by the Offices of International Visitors and Citizen Exchanges.

Stacy is a career foreign service officer, who since 1988, has served at U.S. embassies in Canada, Mexico, Finland, Panama, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In Washington, DC, she has served in the Bureau of the Western Hemisphere and in the Foreign Service Institute as the Deputy Director of Public Diplomacy Training. She previously served as the Director of the Office of International Visitors (2016-2018) and the Chief of Cultural Programs in the Office of Citizen Exchanges (2012-2015). Before entering the Foreign Service, Stacy was an award-winning broadcast journalist in Texas and Oklahoma.