Our Story

Sobre iDCAN | à propos du IDCAN

The North American Cultural Diplomacy Initiative (nacdi) is a multi-disciplinary partnership that includes academics, policymakers and practitioners from North America and beyond.

Our objective is to establish cultural diplomacy as a critical practice: by interrogating and advancing cultural diplomacy, we aim to raise its profile as a valuable tool to foster international and transcultural relations—that is, to measure it and mobilize it to inform public policy development and implementation. Specifically, the strategically-important network of networks we are establishing seeks to demonstrate the value and use of cultural diplomacy to government bodies, cultural institutions, and cultural practitioners.

In addition, we aim to advance new scholarship and research that provides greater understanding of how cultural diplomacy functions to connect North America globally; not merely as part of the “soft power” tool-kit of nation states, but as a multi-directional and potentially activist practice that encompasses a broad range of non-state actors, including cultural institutions, managers, producers, consumers and communities seeking to imagine counter-hegemonic possibilities and inclusive futures.

In order to explore the uses of culture and arts in international relations and diplomacy we are developing a vibrant research community that advances cultural diplomacy as a critical practice, generates new research, trains students and practitioners to create effective cultural initiatives and linkages, and engages in outreach through activities accessible to diverse constituencies and broader publics. By mobilizing the diverse and complementary resources of diplomats, policy makers, cultural practitioners, and the public in the North American context, and by establishing linkages with adjacent organizations whose work focusses on other geopolitical imaginaries, nacdi will leverage the knowledge and expertise of its partners, raise the profile of its research and scholarship, and create a unique and dynamic forum through which to advance cultural diplomacy.

As the focus of nacdi’s activities, “North America” serves as a vital geopolitical imaginary. In this capacity, it intersects with and links to other geopolitical regions and imaginaries (including but not limited to the global indigenous community, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Anglosphere, and the French-speaking world), and thus provides a means to engage with their cultural diplomacy networks and organizations.


Meet Our Team

We are advancing nacdi as a vibrant and dynamic partnership and community including leaders from universities, cultural organizations, governments and NGOs. We are keen to hear from individuals and organizations who have an interest in cultural diplomacy.


Jeffrey Brison

Program Coordinator for Cultural Studies at Queen’s University

Nick Cull

Professor; Director, Master of Public Diplomacy program, USC Annenberg

Lynda Jessup

Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Research, Queen's University

Evan Potter

Associate Professor, University of Ottawa

Sascha Priewe

Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives & Partnerships, Royal Ontario Museum

Ben Schnitzer

PhD student in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University

Sarah E.K. Smith

Assistant Professor, Carleton University

César Villanueva Rivas

International Relations and Public/Cultural Diplomacy



Jan Allen

Director, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University

Thomas Bastien

Director of Education and Wellness, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Jutta Brendemuhl – updated and resized

Jutta Brendemühl

Program Curator, Goethe-Institut Toronto
Kate Cornell

Kate Cornell

Co-Chair, Canadian Arts Coalition/la Coalition canadienne des arts / Executive Director, Canadian Dance Assembly

Simon Dancey

Global Director for Cultural Skills, British Council

Eric Fillion

PhD Candidate, Concordia University
Patricia Goff 2017

Patricia Goff

Associate Professor of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University
Natalia Grincheva

Natalia Grincheva

University of Melbourne

Linda Grussani

Canadian Museum of History and Queen’s University 
Eduardo L T Hernandez

Eduardo Luciano Tadeo Hernández

Universidad Iberoamericana
Heather L Kelly

Heather L. Kelly

Founder/Director, Bloor St. Culture Corridor & Director of Marketing, Performing Arts, The Royal Conservatory
View More: http://katewatkinson.pass.us/kendall-asa

Asa McKercher

Assistant Professor, History, Royal Military College of Canad

Gerald McMaster

Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice, OCAD University

Tracy Neumann

Associate Professor of History Wayne State University

John-Michael Poon


Vincent Raynauld

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, Emerson College



Simge Erdogan

Queen’s University
Bronwyn Jaques – headshot June 2018

Bronwyn Jaques

Queen’s University

Katie-Marie McNeill

Queen’s University