The importance of the program and others like it was emphasized by Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian & Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell in July 2010. Testifying before the House Armed Services Committee he said that bilateral cooperation “must go beyond our governments….We have to tap into the challenge of our people, their creativity and innovation, and their ability to forge lasting relationships that build trust and understanding.”
Such sentiment has long served as primary motivation for the establishment and promotion of public diplomacy programs. Although there is anecdotal evidence about JET Program as a critical element of public diplomacy, recordable details about the actual scope and impact are more elusive.
A professor of public diplomacy, political communication and social media at Indiana University is trying to measure the impact of public diplomacy efforts in a more tangible way. As an alumna of the JET Program, she has an additional interest in devising a way to evaluate the impact of more than 20 years and more than 20,000 American alumni influence on the overall US-Japan relationship.
In an effort to track the educational and professional career tracks of American JET alumni and to assess their opinions of Japan and the continuing impact of JET on their lives years after finishing the program, a survey for American JET Program alumni is being distributed. The survey has been approved by Indiana University’s Institutional Review Board.
If you are a JET Alumni and wish to participate in the survey (the link will remain active until midnight EST, Friday, March 18, 2011) click