Despite Cuba’s geographic proximity to the United States, historical circumstances have served to widen the distance between our two countries. As both nations begin to turn the page towards a future of greater closeness and cooperation, leaders from both sides of the straits are seeking ways to increase understanding and develop relationships between our countries. In April of 2016, led by Ambassador Stuart Holliday, a distinguished group of members of Meridian International Center’s Board of Trustees and other supporters, undertook a trip to Cuba. Consistent with Meridian’s mission to “understand global issues and cultures, exchange ideas, collaborate on solutions,...Continue
Kheston Walkins is a young entrepreneur from Trinidad and Tobago who was selected to attend the 2016 Young Leaders of the America’s Initiative (YLAI) pilot program by the U.S. Department of State. This presidential initiative supports social and business entrepreneurs from across Latin America and the Caribbean. Here are some of his reflections on his experience attending this prestigious U.S.-based exchange. Tragedy and Opportunity: it is a strange courtship that is as clumsy as a duck’s waddle, yet the two travel abreast almost inseparably. My name is Kheston Walkins, and I am from Trinidad and Tobago. Let me tell...Continue
The spirit of community service has grown stronger every year since Congress enacted the National and Community Service Act of 1990. From President Bush’s Points of Light Award to President Obama’s United We Serve initiative, successive presidents have helped to strengthen this part of the American cultural fabric. After Martin Luther King Jr. Day was designated as a national day of service in 1994, Americans everywhere worked to make it not a day off but a day on. Continue
I am so incredibly lucky. I was born in America in a prosperous time to parents that not only valued my education, but had the time, resources, and capacity to be fully engaged. They sacrificed to send me to private schools, staying up until all my homework was done and explaining difficult concepts until they wanted to pull their hair out. But they did so I would have as many opportunities as possible. They poured their all into my education and in turn, gave me an impassioned outlook on my future. That is why I cannot get Deputy Secretary...Continue
With the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other pending trade agreements in the headlines, and as states across the country compete with one another for foreign investment and global export markets, IVLP projects in these fields are on the rise. The increase of projects on this theme is a reflection of U.S. foreign policy interests and a recognition that global commerce has an impact on a myriad of domestic policy issues. In preparing proposals for projects about trade and investment, Meridian and its implementing partners consider a number of policy priorities that are affected by the globalization of commerce.