We need your VOTE to bring American Spaces to SXSW EDU 2023!

The SXSW EDU Conference and Festival takes place each March in Austin, TX as a four-day event offering compelling sessions, in-depth workshops, engaging learning experiences, mentorship, film screenings, future-focused competitions, an expo, networking opportunities, and much more.

The sessions below will provide an opportunity to conference participants to learn more about our mission, programs, and careers as Regional Public Engagement Specialists.
Part of the SXSW pitch process is the crowdsourced “Panel Picker” where the community will have the opportunity to “Vote Up” or “Vote Down” on all session ideas (votes will be kept private) and add comments to each page.

Panel Picker 1:  Careers in Diplomacy – Reach Global Audiences
The Office of American Spaces is recruiting top talent to join the Regional Public Engagement Specialist Corps.  We will have an open conversation to speak with interested candidates about our careers and how American Spaces impact public diplomacy overseas.

An American Space is a collaborative laboratory where audiences, private and public partners, and others can explore and be inspired by new ideas, skills, and opportunities that have the power to bring positive change to individual lives, communities, the host country, bilateral and regional relations, and global challenges.

  1. Ana Ayala de Barbosa, Regional Public Engagement Specialist, U.S. Department of State
  2. Alison McKee, Regional Public Engagement Specialist, U.S. Department of State
  3. Sarah Ziebell, Regional Public Engagement Specialist,U.S. Department of State

Vote here: https://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/125130

Panel Picker 2:  Tactical Media Literacy for Vulnerable Communities
In this session, we highlight the work of American Spaces (overseas American cultural centers) and how we tackle the misinformation crisis in vulnerable populations through tactical media literacy training. Youth engagement experts from Serbia and Indonesia share their strategies for combatting misinformation and dispelling stereotypes. Together, we will explore how our experiences can help media educators, librarians, and cultural programmers facing these challenges in their own communities.


  1. Showcase the impact of programming in the areas of media literacy and dispelling stereotypes through American Spaces partners’ first-hand stories.
  2. Orient American educators to the programs and strategies utilized by the U.S. Department of State to teach and model media literacy abroad.
  3. Demonstrate how the U.S. benefits by investing in programming related to media literacy and dispelling stereotypes overseas.


  1. Sarah Ziebell, Regional Public Engagement Specialist, U.S. Department of State
  2. Milena Ognjanovic, Coordinator and IREX Citizen Trainer, American Corner Belgrade
  3. Christian Simanullang, MyAmerica Surabaya Director, U.S. Consulate Surabaya

Vote here! https://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/122599

How to VOTE:

  1. Create a SXSW account (or sign in to an existing one) here:https://panelpicker.sxsw.com/
  2. Click on these links:


  1. “Vote up” our ideas
  2. Your positive feedback in each proposal’s “comments” section is optional, but warmly welcomed!

Voting is live through Sunday, August 21.

Learn more:https://eca.state.gov/programs-and-initiatives/initiatives/office-american-spaces