Skip to main content

Two UT projects, led by professors Stuart Brotman and Bruce Tonn, were selected for the US Department of State’s Diplomacy Lab for the fall 2017 semester.

UT’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy has been a partner in the Diplomacy Lab since fall 2015. UT is one of 28 participating universities.

The Diplomacy Lab program enables the State Department to gather research, innovation, and expertise related to foreign policy originating from faculty and students around the country.  

Stuart Brotman

Brotman is the Howard Distinguished Endowed Professor of Media Management and Law and the Beaman Professor of Communication and Information in the College of Communication and Information. He will lead an interdisciplinary team of graduate students in exploring the role of social media in US foreign policy objectives in a project titled “The Changing Art of Diplomacy: Social Media as a U.S. Foreign Policy Tool.”

Bruce Tonn

Tonn, a Baker Center Fellow and professor of political science in the College of Arts and Sciences, will direct a team of graduate students from the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education on a project titled “How Expensive is Cheap Energy?” The group will analyze the costs of renewable energy sources including environmental, societal, and industry-related costs, particularly in the context of developing countries.   

Including Brotman’s and Tonn’s, a total of 11 projects at UT have been selected for the program since its inception.

“This is a great hands-on learning opportunity for our students,” said Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center. “They get to explore real-world challenges identified by the Department of State, engage with State Department officials, and contribute to the policymaking process.”

Brotman’s and Tonn’s teams will have a conference session with State Department officials to get more direction as they begin the project this fall. They’ll meet again midcourse and then have a final conference where they will present their results.


Jilleah Welch (865-974-8574,

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460,