Cablegate: Global Repositioning - Response From Ambassador Linda


DE RUEHQT #0915/01 1102106
R 202106Z APR 07





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. Summary: We are delighted to have been chosen as a Phase 1
country for the Secretary's Transformational Diplomacy initiative,
and we are very pleased with the early returns on what the three new
positions we gained have allowed us to do. Following are responses
to questions posed in reftel as to how US Mission Ecuador has used
the GRP positions on behalf of the Secretary's transformational

2. Response to Question A: In 2006 the Department designated Ecuador
a transformational diplomacy (TD) post and added two new positions
at Embassy Quito and one at Consulate General Guayaquil. The new
positions have only been fully encumbered for a few months, but
already the new officers have allowed us to substantially expand our
transformational activities with new audiences and leverage much
more outreach by the entire Mission. We've developed a National
Outreach Strategy and are engaging a wider number of influential
institutions and individuals - especially in provincial cities - to
highlight the USG's many positive programs and put Mission officers
and EFMs in direct contact with Ecuadorians, explaining more about
who we are and what we do. We are also greatly increasing outreach
to youth and disadvantaged groups, traditionally unreached
audiences. We are bringing together Ecuadorians with U.S. experience
into coherent groups that can influence public debate on Ecuador's
future. While the Mission had a transformational agenda in place
before receiving the GRP-I positions, and Mission offices were
working to transform Ecuador via traditional tools and programs, the
new officers have allowed us to establish TD as a separate activity
at the entry to mid level and among EFMs, and helped the Mission's
senior managers develop the ongoing transformational activities
into part of a larger whole.

3. Response to Question B: The FS-03 Public Diplomacy Officer in
Quito is the Mission's National Outreach Coordinator (NOC). He
develops activities to explain USG interests and goals to
Ecuadorians and to better engage institutions in and outside of
Quito. He maintains a calendar of Embassy officers' official trips
outside of Quito for reporting, ACS and other purposes and adds on
outreach activities (speeches, lunches, interviews) to reach desired
target audiences (universities, service organizations, chambers of
commerce) and plans his own trips to places we have not had time to
visit adequately in the past. These trips have vastly expanded the
number of Ecuadorians we're engaging, and focused the themes on U.S.
assistance and long-term USG goals such as anti-corruption,
counter-narcotics and trafficking in persons. The PDO has made it
possible to reach high school audiences that we did not have
resources to cover previously. The wide variety of topics, settings
and types of schools is giving us a good insight into the best ways
to convey our message to these future leaders and we find them eager
for contact with us. Thanks as well to the new FSN supporting the
position, we now have staff dedicated to developing outreach
activities for all Mission officers, family members and Peace Corps
Volunteers, allowing us to take much fuller advantage of the human
capital at post than ever before.

4. The PDO has helped create several U.S. university alumni clubs in
Ecuador, key to our efforts to create and encourage networks of
change-minded individuals in Ecuador. For instance, he set up
luncheons that I hosted for Georgetown and Harvard alumni, and other
Mission officers and I attended a breakfast event for Fulbright
alumni organized by the Fulbright Commission, and another for
Michigan State alumni. Other university alumni efforts are in the
works. These clubs create influential networks within Ecuador and
with the U.S. to address issues of mutual interest. These are
powerful multipliers and people who know us well. The PDO has been
able to organize much more frequent programs with more universities,
which are often centers of out-of-date leftist thinking. Direct
contact dispels myths and provides new information to new audiences.
The PDO and his FSNE established contact with the Universidad
Central, Quito's public university and a source of anti-American
rhetoric, which led to an invitation to participate in an on-campus
open house for Embassies where they promoted the Fulbright program
and other USG exchange programs, and distributed hundreds of IIP
books and CD's to students. Over fifty new PAS Information Resource
Center subscriptions were generated through this outreach event. In
organizing community outreach events, the PDO leverages new contact
by all Embassy sections with new audiences in creative programs that
often generate media coverage as well. For instance, he coordinated
the participation of African-American Mission officers and a
Fulbright scholar to discuss the African-American experience with
student audiences at the Quito City Museum's "Afrodescendents"
exhibition, co-sponsored by the Embassy.

5. The FS-02 Economics Officer works on both TD and outreach
activities. His transformational activities are focused on long term
change and leadership. For instance, he is actively pursuing 212(f)
corruption visa revocations and ineligibilities for "deserving"
Ecuadorians, showing GOE and Ecuadorian public that we are an ally
in the fight against corruption. He is developing strong working

relationships with new Under Secretaries in economics-related
ministries to maintain productive, high-level dialogue with the
current administration, and using contacts in ministries, with
academics and in provincial capitals to identify future Ecuadorian
leaders and to recommend them for USG-sponsored programs such as the
International Visitors program. He is also searching for synergies
with other agencies at Post like USAID (competitiveness) and FCS
(anti-corruption) in order to complement each other's programs
rather than duplicate them. In the area of outreach, he developed
new themes and new audiences for our most important economic
messages. For instance, he changed the core theme of the Economics
outreach speech from "Free Trade Agreement" to "Competitiveness," to
de-couple outreach from the more specific (and now stalled) FTA
issue to a broader message that encourages Ecuadorians to develop
consensus for reforms that promote market-based, open international
economic engagement. He is increasing engagement with business and
political leaders in Ecuador's provincial capitals in order to
understand the challenges that exist outside of Quito and Guayaquil,
and to examine how local leaders are responding at the municipal and
provincial levels. During his recent trip to one provincial capital,
for example, he met with university economists, gave the Economics
outreach speech at a local university, and along with the FCS
officer held a round table discussion with business leaders.

6. The FS-03 Public Diplomacy Officer in Guayaquil has re-opened
Consulate outreach efforts to the entire consular district,
re-engaging with audiences long neglected and reaching out to new
ones. She is finding creative ways to engage university level
audiences and faculty. For instance, she met with the Univ. of
Guayaquil Dean of the Social Communications School, arranged a
meeting between the post's English Language Specialist and the
English language teaching staff, put the school's radio station on
distribution for the Embassy's weekly radio program, and donated
materials to the English Department's library. She uses the two
U.S.-Ecuador bi-national centers in Guayaquil and Cuenca to maximum
extent to expand the profile for USG speakers and programs. For
instance, she oversees the PAS grant to the BNC Guayaquil to
administer the WHA-sponsored College Horizons English language
scholarship program for low-income Afro-Ecuadorian and indigenous
students. The CEN contacted more than 60 public high schools and
recruited 350 candidates for the 25 available slots, hosted an
orientation session/reception for 125 public school officials, NGOs
and private foundations, and an orientation/reception for parents
and students. Future plans include visits by consulate staff to the
high schools of our College Horizon students, a visit by the CH
students to the Consulate, and a meeting with me. In her outreach
efforts, she has been able to leverage all Consulate resources to
engage new audiences in new ways, for instance when she helped the
Consular officer coordinate the Guayaquil visit of a group of HBC
Morehouse College officials who recruited Afro-Ecuadorian students
for Morehouse, met with local Afro-Ecuadorian leaders and visited
Afro-Ecuadorian communities to build leadership networks with them.

7. Response to Question C: The two PD positions are accomplishing
exactly the work outlined for them, correcting misperceptions,
countering misinformation and fostering better mutual understanding.
The Econ position has been working on most of the issues outlined in
the job description such as corruption and trade, but because the
FTA faltered, the trade focus shifted to a broader agenda of
economic reform, still well within the transformational parameters.
After a few months experience with these new positions, seeing what
works and what doesn't, we are now refining further the specific
policy transformations that will be the top priorities in the
political and economic areas.

8. Response to Question D: In addition to the fantastic work these
additional officers have been doing, and the expanded reach and
influence they have developed for the Mission, they have also helped
enormously in my goal to have everyone in the Mission involved in
outreach and TD activities in order to achieve the goals first
outlined in Quito 2235 (2005), "Transforming Ecuador: Action Plan
for Democracy and Stability." This plan emphasized the long-term
nature of transformational activities such as education and exchange
programs which, if carried out successfully in Ecuador, would mean
that in twenty years the U.S. Mission would face a less daunting set
of challenges than we face today and would do so in a much more
cooperative environment. The new officers leverage their own work
and get others actively involved in programs. We track progress in
carrying out our TD agenda at monthly inter-agency TD meetings
chaired by me and the PAO, supplemented by the work of other
internal bodies such as our Democracy Working Group, our
Anti-Corruption Working Group and our Expanded Economic Team

9. Lessons Learned: Hiring two new FSNEs to support the three GRP-I
officers (one FSNE in Quito and one in Guayaquil) has made a
critical contribution to our TD efforts nationwide - our efforts
would have fallen short without that element. The FSNE in Quito
works directly with the PDO Quito to find new audiences, suggest

ideas for outreach, plan transformational activities, catalog the
information gained through these activities, and follow up with new
activities. This two-person team works full time to support the
other two TD officers, as well as all Mission personnel involved in
outreach and TD activities. Their combined effort is essential to
the work of planning and conducting these activities, which requires
a sustained effort and the "institutional memory" that a dedicated
and energetic FSNE can provide. We would be even more successful if
the positions came with a budget supplement that allowed us to
increase travel funds. We are covering these new and extra costs
out of our current budget levels, with some strain and tradeoffs. A
final observation: language skill is critical to the success of
these positions.

10. To prepare Mission employees for outreach activities, the
Embassy Information Section conducted media training sessions for
FSOs and FSNs to show them where to find information useful for
their outreach activities (Embassy's Website, Fact Sheets and
Talking Points), and to conduct mock interviews to improve their
on-camera and on-air communication techniques.

11. Next Steps: After several months of experience conducting TD
activities with our new officers, we are in the process of refining
some of our TD goals and tying them more closely to desired
political and economic policy outcomes. The TD officer in the
Economics Section, for instance, is developing a TD matrix that will
integrate the various Mission Sections' economic development
activities (PL 480 programs, USAID job creation assistance, FCS
programs) into a complementary package that has greater impact and
is easier to explain to the public. The TD officer in PAS Quito
participates in Political Section planning activities (and is
reviewed by the Political Counselor) in order to help that section
achieve its goals through TD activities. The PD officer in
Guayaquil is identifying the mix of audiences and activities
(university outreach, English Teaching assistance, speaking
opportunities, cultural activities, assistance to U.S. volunteer
missions) that will have the greatest transformational impact and
writing those into updated work requirements.

12. POL and FCS have FY07 outreach plans in place and Consular and
USAID will soon begin outreach activities outside of Quito. We have
begun English teaching conversation tutoring in Quito high schools
using EFMs and GSO officers. We are setting up activities for Peace
Corps volunteers to explain USG efforts in health and environmental
protection. We are looking for Americans outside the Mission
(Fulbrighters and American college exchange students) to visit Quito
high schools for English teaching. We will establish a "Volunteers"
page on the Embassy website to highlight U.S. private-sector efforts
to help Ecuadorians. We plan to bring together Ecuadorians who have
benefited from USG TD efforts, such as IMET courses, PAS exchanges,
NAS/DEA training, and USAID programs into meaningful, thematic
groups where they can collectively have an impact. We have a
structure in place to analyze Outreach progress and results. As we
expand our activities, more and more Ecuadorian institutions are
requesting programs, leading to a positive "snowball" effect of
expanding audiences and opportunities. The transformation has just



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