Hannes Richter

Dear Readers,

Hannes Richter

The beginning of the new year is a time for reflection, a time for looking back on the previous year and planning for the future. For many of us, it is also a busy time, when end of year reports must be written and administrative tasks must be completed. 

For our team at Austrian Information, the past year has brought some changes. Editor in chief Wolfgang Renezeder returned to Austria in August and is now working on EU constitutional matters – an exciting field, especially after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. Wolfgang has led this publication with enormous skill, intellectual brilliance and dedication and I want to use this opportunity to thank him for all his help and advice during the transition period and upon my arrival in Washington DC.

Maggie Gambill-Koebele, our managing editor, retired at the end of December 2010. She has dedicated many years to this publication and will be surely missed. On behalf of the whole team I would like to thank her for her excellent work and wish her a very happy retirement.

As for myself, I come to Washington from a mainly multilateral background, having served at the Austrian Mission to the EU in Brussels, in the office of the Legal Counsel in Vienna and later for six years at the Austrian Mission to the United Nations in New York. It is fascinating to be here in Washington, especially at a time when diplomacy and journalism are both undergoing a process of evolution. Social media, blogs, and citizen journalists have complemented the traditional world of journalism. In the field of diplomacy, the traditional state to state interaction is no longer the only way to engage. Public-, Business- and Cultural Diplomacy are more and more recognized as vital and indispensable tools for bringing nations and their citizens together.

Our publication is at the crossroads of these different forms of diplomatic engagement and the changing media. We are excited to be part of both and are looking forward to what the future will bring to these professions. For now, we have implemented a few changes to Austrian Information: the magazine will be published in full color and we have added a new, regular column, entitled “Austrian Places”, which highlights memorable places to visit. We will also have a section on politics, economics/business, culture and academics in every issue. We will still cover “news in brief”, but by adapting to the 24/7 news cycle we will enhance our coverage in the magazine by keeping you updated on Austrian events on our website, www.austria.org. I also invite you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

The official Facebook page of the Austrian Embassy can be found at www.facebook.com/austrianembassy and our Twitter account at www.twitter.com/austriainusa. For those specifically interested in foreign policy, diplomacy, and transatlantic relations, we have launched a second Twitter account, which you can find at www.twitter.com/austrodiplo. Our whole team of Austrian Information would like to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.

Alice Irvin
Editor in Chief,
Director, Austrian Press & Information Service