In a recent Baker Institute Blog post, Marc Sabbagh, Rice University senior and Baker Institute intern, writes about his experience as a "virtual" intern for the United States embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, and how it exemplifies the growing public diplomacy exchange facilitated by modern technology. Through his "virtual" internship, Sabbagh coordinated an online lecture series for students in Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia that included the participation of professors all over the U.S., including Baker Institute academic affairs director Allen Matusow and Baker Institute fellow in political science Mark Jones, speaking about an array of issues in American history. He writes:
"My work is part of the greater goal of 21st century statecraft: to find new ways of reaching out to, and engaging with, communities abroad. ... The use of technology to encourage public diplomacy marks a pivotal shift in U.S. diplomacy and foreign policy -- and should continue to play a greater role in supporting democracy and improving relations with countries around the world."