Presidential commission honors Rep. Roemer

by Dennis Brown

The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy is creating the Tim Roemer Internship to honor the University of Notre Dame graduate and retiring member of the House of Representatives for his efforts in support of public diplomacy, the American government’s communication with the public in foreign countries.p. Beginning in January, the Roemer Internship will be awarded to a student participant of Notre Dame’s semester-long Washington Program. Michelle Celli, a Notre Dame junior from Washington, Pa., will be the first Roemer Intern. Notre Dame has conducted undergraduate courses and offered internships in the nation’s capital since 1998.p. “Even prior to all of the current interest in public diplomacy, Rep. Roemer had the foresight to know this nation needs citizen leadership on how we inform and influence foreign audiences,” said commission chairman Harold C. Pachios in announcing the formation of the Roemer Internship. “I am proud to recognize this insight with an internship that will serve the commission annually with one of Notre Dame’s finest students.”p. In 1999, Roemer, a Democrat from Indiana’s 3rd District, was instrumental in preserving the commission’s role as a citizens’ oversight panel that makes recommendations to the president, secretary of state and Congress on how the U.S. government informs and influences foreign audiences.p. “A citizens’ board which represents the public interest and provides policy-makers with responsible oversight on public diplomacy strategic priorities and program effectiveness is needed now more than before,” Roemer said prior to the commission’s reauthorization. “In this age of information and democracy, of globalized free markets and the Internet, foreign publics are far more important than ever.”p. Roemer earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in government and international studies from Notre Dame in 1981 and ‘85. He was first elected to Congress in 1990.p. The U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy is a bipartisan presidentially appointed panel created by Congress in 1948 to provide oversight of U.S. government activities intended to understand, inform and influence foreign publics. Current commission members include Harold Pachios of Maine, who is the chairman; Charles Dolan of Virginia, vice chairman; Penne Percy Korth of Texas; Lewis Manilow of Illinois; and Maria Elena Torano of Florida.p. Notre Dame’s president-emeritus, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., served from 1962-65 on the U.S. Advisory Commission on Educational and Cultural Affairs, which was the predecessor to the current commission.

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