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The PD Forum: The Impact on Communications in an AI World
Thursday, December 14 @ 12:00 PM (EDT)
December 6, 2023

Program Description:

Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Liz Allen invites all Department staff to the inaugural virtual “PD Forum” next Thursday, December 14, 2023 at noon EST. Under Secretary Allen and New York Times Tech Columnist Kevin Roose will delve into critical topics such as leveraging AI in communications, adapting our teams in an AI-driven world, and governance concerning AI use. This Chatham House Rule conversation followed by a Q&A session with Department employees is a unique opportunity to engage directly with an expert voice on a topic of particular interest to the broader Department workforce.

Speaker Bios:
Elizabeth M. Allen
Under Secretary For Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs

On April 4, 2022, Secretary of State Antony Blinken delegated the functions and authorities of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs to Elizabeth M. Allen. She was later nominated and sworn into the position on June 15, 2023 to become the 10th Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Allen also served as the Assistant Secretary of Global Public Affairs from September 2021, to April 2022. Allen began her career at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Global Women’s Issues and Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. During the Obama-Biden Administration, she served at the State Department as Director of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs for Educational and Cultural Affairs. A longtime communications and public affairs strategist, Allen was previously a partner at the strategic advisory firm FGS Global, where she specialized in message and advocacy strategy, reputation and crisis management, and executive leadership communications on a range of international public policy issues. Prior to FGS, Allen spent seven years in the Obama-Biden White House, serving as Deputy Communications Director and Deputy Assistant to President Barack Obama, White House Director of Message Planning, and Deputy Director of Communications to then-Vice President Joe Biden. During her White House tenure, Allen drove communications planning around the President’s priorities, domestic and foreign policies, and legislative and outreach strategy. She managed complex message events, groundbreaking interviews and documentaries, and press coverage for President Obama and Vice President Biden across the United States and in more than 30 foreign countries on five continents. In 2020, Allen served as Vice President Kamala Harris’s communications director on the Biden-Harris Presidential campaign. Allen is a proud Buffalo, New York, native and graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in Political Science and minor in Sociology from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Geneseo.




Kevin Roose
American author and journalist

Kevin Roose, a distinguished tech columnist for The New York Times and author, has made significant contributions to the field of technology journalism. His latest book, “Futureproof: 9 Rules for Humans in the Age of Automation,” is a pivotal work that guides readers through the complexities of a future shaped by AI and automation. In addition to his writing, Kevin hosts two notable podcasts for The New York Times: “Hard Fork,” co-hosted with Casey Newton, exploring technology’s cutting-edge developments, and “Rabbit Hole,” an in-depth series examining the internet’s influence on society.

Kevin’s journalistic journey began with an unconventional assignment at Liberty University, leading to his first book, “The Unlikely Disciple.” His career trajectory then took him through prominent roles at New York magazine and The New York Times, where he penned “Young Money,” a deep dive into the lives of junior Wall Street bankers post-2008 financial crisis. Before his current tenure at The Times, Kevin ventured into television, co-producing and co-hosting “Real Future,” a documentary series on technology. His work at The Times encompasses a broad range of topics, from social media dynamics to emerging tech trends, earning him a reputation as a versatile and insightful commentator on the digital age.