From October 11-19, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Liz Allen will visit Nadi, Fiji; Port Vila, Vanuatu; Sydney, Australia, and Santiago, Chile. The Under Secretary’s visit will demonstrate the United States’ ongoing commitment to key partners in the Pacific and South America; support open and free media environments; counter foreign malign influence; and strengthen and expand people-to-people ties.
Under Secretary Allen will begin her travel in Nadi, Fiji, where she will meet with local partners and alumni of U.S. exchange programs to discuss their work in Fiji and the shared vision of a connected, prosperous, peaceful, and resilient Blue Pacific continent.
The Under Secretary will then travel to Port Vila, Vanuatu, where she will meet with senior government officials to discuss shared climate priorities, regional cooperation, and the deepening U.S.-Vanuatu relationship in advance of the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Port Vila. The Under Secretary will also meet with media and civil society organizations in Vanuatu to discuss their work to increase transparency and promote democratic values.
Under Secretary Allen will travel next to Sydney, Australia, to give opening remarks at the establishment of a Digital Communication Network (DCN) hub in East Asia and the Pacific. The DCN is a global NGO whose members collaborate across borders to promote independent storytelling, combat disinformation, and safeguard information integrity. She will also meet with senior Australian public diplomacy officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, local subject matter experts, and students to discuss methods for countering foreign malign influence, opportunities and challenges presented by artificial intelligence, and increasing research partnerships and collaboration in AUKUS-related cutting-edge fields. The Under Secretary will join Australia’s National Indigenous Culinary Institute, highlighting their modern approach to a time-honored way of learning about other cultures and forming new relationships. Under Secretary Allen will also visit The Guardian Australia to meet with staff working on their Pacific Project, which reports extensively across the Pacific Islands while training and mentoring up-and-coming journalists from those countries.
The Under Secretary will conclude her trip with a visit to Chile for engagements with government officials, civil society leaders, and exchange participants to mark the 200th anniversary of bilateral relations and the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement. During sports and other cultural diplomacy events, she will promote social inclusion through exchange and highlight the value of English language learning. The Under Secretary will also visit an indigenous cultural center to discuss the value of economic inclusion, entrepreneurism, and climate activism, as well as reaffirm our appreciation for cultural heritage. During meetings with senior government officials and civil society leaders, the Under Secretary will underscore shared democratic values, the importance of countering foreign malign influence, and our commitment to economic cooperation, as well as announce new grants with strategic partners to advance shared goals.