Iran’s Blogosphere and Grassroots Voices: Risks and Rewards of Engagement

Thanks to all who were able to attend. If you weren’t there and would like to watch it, the complete video is available here. George Washington University, Jack Morton Auditorium 805 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20052

Co-sponsored by Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication (IPDGC), George Washington University (GWU)

9:00 a.m. Welcome, Registration and Refreshments

9:30 a.m. Welcome
Sean Aday, Director, IPDGC, GWU
D. Jeffrey Hirschberg, Board Member, BBG

Frank Sesno, Director, School of Media and Public Affairs, GWU

Dr. Azar Nafisi, Author of Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books and Things I Have Been Silent About; Executive Director of Cultural Conversations, School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University

Panel 1: The New Media Landscape in Iran
Mohamed Abdel Dayem, Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists
Hida Fouladvand, VOA Persian News Network TV
Nikahang Kowsar, Cartoonist, Journalist and Blogger
Moderator: Ivan Sigal, Executive Director, Global Voices


Panel 2: Prospects for a Grassroots Dialogue
Geneive Abdo, Fellow, Iran Analyst, The Century Foundation
Mohammad Tabaar, Adjunct Professor, GWU
Sonya Reines-Djivanides, Director, Track II Mediation Unit, Search for Common Ground
Moderator: Sean Aday, IPDGC

Online Moderator
Golnaz Esfandiari, Senior Correspondent, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Prague< Czech Republic

The conference will examine the powerful effect of new media and social networks in today’s Iran. It will also explore what opportunities may exist, even in the face of growing political tensions, for citizen diplomacy and people-to-people connections to grow and develop.

12:30 p.m. End

RSVP by e-mail to, or by phone to the BBG Office of Public Affairs at 202-203-4400.

Please contribute your thoughts, before and during the conference, to our global online discussion at or via Faceboook or Twitter.