You know the picture of Hillary Clinton on the plane, texting with shades on? The behind-the-scenes image became an Internet meme in part because it was so unexpected, speaking volumes about a new era of American power abroad: cool, technologically cutting-edge, and female. Suzanne Philion, a 34-year-old who works under Clinton as Senior Advisor for Innovation in the Bureau of Education & Cultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department, embodies that new era.
This lady. Sounds awesome. This job? Sounds even better.
An important way that we get in the door in other countries—especially with youth and lower-income people—is by providing quality English -language learning. So in Tunisia, for example, we partnered with the largest mobile provider there to launch a mobile-based English-language learning program following the Arab Spring. Tunisia has a lot of mobile penetration—and we wanted to reach beyond the urban populations. We developed content for SMS—largely fill-in-the-blanks, multiple-choice questions—and the idea is to do it in modern American English, including slang, and working with local content. In a country with 10 million people, in less than 90 days we had more than 535,000 unique users.