How do you write a successful diplomatic speech? From research to rhetoric, from stories and jokes to beginnings and ends, this seminar will explore a range of techniques that speechwriters use to craft memorable messages for the international stage. Through study of historic and contemporary speeches, drawing on the instructor’s experience as foreign policy speechwriter at the U.S. White House, State Department, and U.S. Senate, the course will teach students to craft and critique the language of international affairs. Whether you’re an Ambassador or junior staffer, the speechwriting process can be a path to advancement or a source of worry. This seminar will be taught by seasoned speechwriter, Mr. Daniel Benaim who was a former foreign policy speechwriter and Middle East adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden as well as speeches for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Deputy Secretaries Bill Burns and Tom Nides.
This course aims to help novice speechwriters and seasoned scribes alike to create compelling material, develop a reliable process, find a speechwriting voice, craft excellent speeches – and become a more informed consumer of diplomatic rhetoric in the process
Ambassadors & junior level delegates.
Lecturer for the seminar:
Mr. Daniel Benaim is a senior fellow at American Progress, researching U.S. policy in the Middle East, as well as a visiting lecturer at New York University. Previously, he served as a Middle East policy adviser and foreign policy speechwriter at the White House, the Department of State, and the U.S. Senate. He was also an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Until June 2015, he was foreign policy speechwriter and Middle East adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden, traveling with the vice president to 25 countries. Before that, he wrote speeches for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former Deputy Secretaries Bill Burns and Tom Nides and served as a member of Secretary Clinton’s policy planning staff covering Egypt. Benaim also has been a professional staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chief speechwriter to former Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), and a detailee to the National Security Council staff. Additionally, he designed and taught a graduate speechwriting course at George Washington University.
Benaim’s writings have appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, and The New Republic. He received his M.A. in law and diplomacy from The Fletcher School and his B.A. in English literature from Yale University. He is a term member at the Council on Foreign Relations.