My Experience with YLAI – A U.S. Department of State Exchange Program

From September to October 2018, Meridian International Center successfully implemented the Young Leaders of America Initiative (YLAI) 2018 cohort. This great program which is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, brought 250 YLAI Professional Fellows from Latin America and the Caribbean to expand their leadership and entrepreneurial experience. YLAI is designed to address the opportunity gap for youth, especially women, by empowering business and social entrepreneurs with the training, tools, networks and resources they need to transform their societies and contribute more fully to economic development and prosperity, security, human...

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A Case for A Globally Engaged, Nationally Secure America

Against the backdrop of a globalization that has many feeling more skeptical than optimistic, people are questioning existing notions of sovereignty. Nationalism is now being viewed as a rallying call for protectionism, rather than patriotism. This has fueled a false dichotomy between globalism and nationalism – particularly in the United States where leaders across politics and business along with every day citizens feel they must choose one path or the other. Given this context, how does a nation advance domestic interests while remaining globally engaged – and why is it vital in 2018? On October 20, 2017, over 150...

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Honoring the 2017 International Women of Courage

A few months ago I came back from lunch and noticed a new file sitting on my desk. Recognizing it as a new International Visitor Leadership Project (IVLP) assignment, I looked for the title and saw four letters: “IWOC”. Having no idea what that meant, I thought “Huh, strange.” Little did I know that I had been given the opportunity to work on one of the most inspiring public diplomacy programs that the State Department sponsors: The Secretary’s International Women of Courage (IWOC) Award. This annual two-week IVLP honors a visionary group of women for their respective work in advancing women’s rights all over the world. Continue  

“Political Transition in the U.S.” by Dušan Lj Milenković, a Serbian Participant in the “Democratic Transitions in the U.S. Political System” IVLP

“It is one of the biggest political changes in US history,” said one of the speakers during the IVLP program, regarding the switch to the Trump administration. I participated in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) with 17 other professionals and experts from around the world. We had the chance to witness a historical moment in U.S. politics and to learn more about the customs and traditions entrenched in the American political system. Continue