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Top diplomat joins Emirates academy as adviser

The Emirates Diplomatic Academy, the UAE’s international relations training, academic best practice and research platform, has appointed Tom Fletcher, a leading diplomat, as senior adviser to the EDA’s director general Bernardino Leon.

Fletcher is a former British Ambassador to Lebanon. An honorary fellow of Oxford University and visiting professor of International Relations at New York University, he is also the author of ‘Naked Diplomacy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age’.

He also works to promote access to education as strategy director at the Global Business Coalition for Education and chairs the international advisory council of the Creative Industries Federation.

Fletcher recently completed a review of the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and is leading a report on the future of the UN.

Fletcher will work with the UAE’s diplomats to drive the use of digital and online tools to engage with people and governments around the world. Fletcher believes digital technologies can make a difference in international relations, especially at a time of rapid global change.

Leon said: “It is extremely important that in a fast-changing world facing multiple challenges, the UAE remains at the cutting-edge of international relations thinking. Tom Fletcher brings to us an unrivalled wealth of experience and insight, which will be of immense benefit to the UAE government students we are training.

“He will also help us develop into a centre of global international relations thought leadership, that reflects the UAE’s position as a key trading nation between east and west.”

Fletcher will oversee the development and teaching of a new tailored skills course, 21st Century Diplomacy, to ensure that the UAE is at the forefront of efforts to approach global issues in an open-mined and innovative way that delivers results.

The course will focus on how to effectively use communications and new technology in international outreach, positioning and negotiations and how best to build momentum and emotional connections with people to drive change.

Fletcher will also create a new Diplomatic Innovation Hub at the Emirates Diplomatic Academy’s HQ in Abu Dhabi. It will aim to develop fresh thinking on how diplomacy can harness digital technology and innovation to better fulfill it's vital role.

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