It was big news when Alec Ross joined the White House State Department in early April 2009—the former Obama campaign social media star was the first diplomatic expert with a specialty in technology such as Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging. As it turns out, his services were long overdue given the rapidly evolving international landscape. Ross sat down with Big Think to tell us that the developing countries are more ready than most of us realize to utilize new technologies to conduct targeted “smart” diplomacy, address crises, and distribute important mass communication.
Ross went in detail with Big Think about how, historically, diplomacy has evolved based on advances in communication and how, with today’s leaps in social media, it is changing more quickly and profoundly than ever. He gave some specific examples of how the White House is confronting this new dynamic during political campaigns, international diplomacy, and humanitarian aid missions. And in case you’re wondering exactly how you become the White House social media specialist, Ross shares some unexpected career advice.