From U.S. to Korea – A Participant’s Journey

In March and April of this year, Meridian International Center, conducted a longitudinal study which surveyed American and Korean participants from the 2007 – 2017 U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Programs. The exchange, jointly funded by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Unification of the Korean National Assembly, is Meridian’s second longest program implemented continuously since 1998. The exchange however is much older having been created in 1981 by U.S. Representative Ben Gilman and his Korean counterpart Assemblyman David Pong with the express...

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The IVLP In One Pitch

I anticipated that the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)  “Demographic Change and Immigration,” which opened on April 23, 2018, would be an excellent program. Sometimes, you just get that feeling. The meetings were spot on, the cities were diverse, and the visitors had a perfect blend of professional backgrounds—a journalist, an attorney, and a few elected officials. There was also uncommon diversity in the group, including first generation and second-generation immigrants from Tajikstan and Turkey. On April 23, I thought an excellent meeting on demographics with D’Vera Cohn at Pew Research Center might be the highlight. And while that meeting...

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American Cultural Diplomacy’s Cold War Origins

During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union were concerned with showcasing the art of their respective states to the world. Both feared that artist communities had sided with government rivals, and thus explored ways to repress artistic expression with state power. The story of how American artists, philanthropists, activists, and policymakers overcame Cold War fears to create programs like Arts In The Embassies and other early organs of U.S. cultural diplomacy is an understated but vital component of the success of American arts around the world. As the Cold War began, the United States was in...

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Building Communities of Peace – Countering Violent Extremism: U.S. Professional Development Program

Academics’ Learning Journey into CVE and Building Resilient Communities On March 24, 2018 ten (10) academics drawn from four universities in Trinidad and Tobago embarked on a 10-day, life-changing journey to the U.S. cities of Boston, MA and Washington, DC. The trip, initiated by the U.S. Embassy in Port-of-Spain and the U.S. Department of State, was facilitated by Meridian International Center and focused on researching violent extremism and building resilient communities. The team at Meridian International Center must be highly commended for planning and executing a programme that was well tailored to us as academics hailing from a plethora...

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How an Exchange Program Shaped the Career Path of a Program Alumni

Jessica Reppert is an alumni of the 2015 U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange Program. Now in its 21st year of implementation by Meridian International Center, the program is jointly funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and by the Committee on Foreign Affairs and National Unification of the Korean National Assembly. To mark the 20th Anniversary of implementing the program, Meridian conducted a longitudinal study, surveying both American and South Korean participants from the 2007-2017 programs to assess how this exchange has impacted the alumni. A representative from Meridian...

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