America is running a newly Secretary of State. On January 29, 2013 the U.S. Senate confirmed former U.S. Senator John Forbes Kerry as the new U.S. Secretary of State with a vote of 94-3. Kerry was the United States Senator from Massachusetts from 1983 to 2013, and Former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He took office on Feb. 1, 2013. It is imminent that Secretary Kerry has a vast experience dealing with Foreign Relations issues, as U.S. President Barack Obama pointed out on his press conference, “John’s played a role in every major foreign policy debate for nearly thirty years;” however, the question is, is he ready to advance former Secretary Clinton’s e-diplomacy?
During the last few years, State Department has greatly increased its presence in social networks and it has gone through a change in its online platforms. In 2003, to cover this new tech trend, the Department opened an office for e-diplomacy; however, it was until Hillary’s term that the Department aggressively used all the social media possible to communicate with the general public. Nonetheless, Former Secretary Clinton took it to the next level by starting the well-known initiative “21st Century Statecraft,” which was launched in 2010. After the initiative was put on place, several U.S. Embassies all over the world started using all of these tools as much as possible to keep in touch with their respective communities and communicate the American Diplomacy to the world. It is really hard to see a shift in such a priority from Clinton’s term, but it is still uncertain because the newly State Secretary has not given his stand regarding this trend. Now, the new challenge that needs to be addressed by Secretary Kerry is “how to make social networks a safe place for U.S. Diplomacy.”
Bennett Freeman, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State under Albright’s term stated that “I can’t prejudge Kerry’s beliefs, but the reason I have confidence Kerry will carry forward (existing eDiplomacy initiatives) is first and foremost because the Internet is already demonstrating benefits for the United States, at least in terms of using it as a tool for public diplomacy,”