“The Impacts of Exchange Programs in my Life” by Massolian Fahnbulleh, A Liberian Let Girls Learn Participant

My name is Massa and I am from Liberia. This is actually a real experience about my life. I never thought I could be outspoken and participatory until I went on the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program because I used to be a very shy person. But when I went to the U.S. for the one year program in 2011, I learned how to speak in public, do PowerPoint presentations, and cultural presentations in front of audiences. I also learned how to sing and dance in my American high school. Then came the “Let Girls Learn” program...

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“The Let Girls Learn U.S. Exchange Program” by Bochra Laghssais, A Moroccan Participant

First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama invited 22 Moroccan girls and 22 Liberian girls to the White House for the premiere of the CNN documentary We Will Rise on October 11, the International Day of the Girl. I was one of the Moroccan girls invited to Washington D.C. as part of First Lady Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative. The White House visit was a follow-up to First Lady Obama’s visit to Liberia and Morocco in June 2016, during which we Moroccan girls participated in a roundtable discussion on the challenges young girls face in order to continue...

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Embracing Hope in a Turbulent World: Five Steps for Global Leaders

This article is reposted from the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs (September 6, 2016). Jo Ann Ross, based in Maryland, is a principal at the Center for Enlightened Organizations (C.E.O.) where she coaches global leaders in industry, government and nonprofits. Her other publications include “The Art of Self-Care and Dynamic Global Leadership” and, with Willa Zakin Hallowell, “Getting to the Heart of Global Leadership.” For the past 28 years at Meridian International Center, Jo Ann has provided executive coaching, leadership development, cross-cultural communications, global awareness, and multicultural team building to international visitors from around the world. She is also Senior Associate at Grovewell LLC, serving global leaders in Fortune 500 companies. Continue  

2016 Presidential Campaign: The World Is Watching

The city of Philadelphia was the center of the political universe last week with the 2016 Democratic National Convention. I took a week off from my internship at Meridian to work as a runner for ABC News and attend the largest gathering of political junkies that I’ve ever seen. Runners provide extra support to ensure things run smoothly — from driving golf carts to help network employees navigate their way through the vast security on the convention grounds to working right on the convention floor with correspondents and anchors for the network. A national political convention is a big...

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U.K. Parliamentarians Meet with U.S. Representatives through BAPG Exchange Program

In 2004, a rising Conservative in the United Kingdom Parliament named Theresa May participated in the British American Parliamentary Group (BAPG), a Department of State exchange program co-founded with the U.K. Parliament in 1977 and administered by Meridian International Center. Ms. May and several colleagues traveled to the United States for meetings with U.S. congressional representatives to learn about America’s political process and its domestic debates, in turn sharing their perspectives on pressing challenges facing the U.K. and Europe. Continue