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Walter R. Roberts is a writer, lecturer, and former government official.

He was born in Austria (August 26, 1916), educated at the University of Vienna and Cambridge University (M.Litt.,Ph.D.).

He was a research assistant at The Harvard Law School (1940—1942) and joined the US Government (Coordinator of Information) in 1942. After eight years of service with the Voice of America, he was transferred to the Austrian Desk of the Department of State (1950).

In 1953, he was appointed Deputy Area Director for Europe in the newly created U.S. Information Agency (USIA). In 1955, he was a member of the American Delegation to the Austrian Treaty Talks that culminated in a State Treaty, signed in Vienna by the four occupying powers (U.S. Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union) on May 15, 1955.

In 1960, he was appointed Counselor for Public Affairs at the American Embassy in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1966, he was assigned as Diplomat in Residence at Brown University in Providence, R.I. and in 1967 he was transferred to Geneva, Switzerland to serve as Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. In 1969, he was appointed Deputy Associate Director of USIA and in 1971 was elevated to the Associate Director position, then the senior career post in USIA.

In 1973, his book Tito, Mihailovic and the Allies, 1941-1945 was published, described by Foreign Affairs as “the best book on the subject.” In 1974, he received the Distinguished Honor Award from USIA. He retired from the U.S. Government in 1974 to take the position of Director of Diplomatic Studies at Georgetown University’s Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). His first assignment there was to serve as executive director of a panel on International Information, Educational and Cultural Affairs (also called the Stanton Panel after its chairman, the then President of CBS, Dr. Frank Stanton).

In 1975, he was called back into government to serve as executive director of the Board for International Broadcasting (BIB, the government agency overseeing Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. The BIB was dissolved and replaced in 1999 by the Broadcasting Board of Governors. In 1985, he retired for the second time from the U.S. Government and was appointed diplomat-in-residence at The George Washington University where he taught a course on “Diplomacy in the Information Age” for ten years.

In 1991, President George H. W. Bush appointed him to be a member of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy and President Bill Clinton reappointed him in 1994. In 1993, he accepted an appointment as a member of the board of the Salzburg Seminar. In 2001, he co-founded (as successors to the Public Diplomacy Foundation) the Public Diplomacy Institute at The George Washington University and The Public Diplomacy Council. He is still an advisor to the (renamed) Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication and a member emeritus of the board of the Public Diplomacy Council. In 2009, he received the Voice of America “Director’s Special Recognition Award”.

Since his retirement from government, he has written and spoken widely on foreign affairs subjects.

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Total Books: 2
The ruby hat An essay on Omar
The Ruby Hat an Essay on Omar (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780705102117
ISBN-10: 0705102114