Checking In With The U.S. – Pakistan Global Leadership and STEM Program

The U.S. – Pakistan Global Leadership and STEM Program is an exchange program that engages ten female Pakistani students in a variety of leadership building and STEM-focused educational activities. During their stay, students participated in an immersive nanotechnology curriculum at SUNY Polytechnic institute. When I arrived at the 4H Center a little over a week ago, I was greeted by a room full of exuberant smiles. Ten Pakistani girls, having just touched down from their respective hometowns the night before, were clustered at the long tables pulled together in the meeting room. They literally sparkled, clothed in traditional shalwar...

Continue  

Spotlight on Soft Power: July 2016

Pop is Our Tradition

Hello Kitty®, Sailor Moon, sushi, anime, manga, and Studio Ghibli® are just a few examples of Japanese Pop culture that have gained popularity in the United States. J-Pop Summit looks to foster this growing interest and bring Japan straight to America. Since 2009 J-Pop Summit has been held annually in San Francisco. It was created and hosted by SUPERFROG project, whose goal is to educate the American public about the uniqueness of Japanese Pop culture. The project continues to be sponsored by a growing number of well known enterprises: UNIQLO, SEGA, Mazda, Funimation, and Lyft, just to name a few.

Continue  

YLAI Pilot Alumni Continue to Make Progress

In February and March 2016, Meridian was proud to welcome 24 entrepreneurs from 20 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean as part of the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Pilot Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.

Meridian is always happy to hear from its alumni, and is particularly proud to share what Luis Loaiza, Alejandro Carbonell, and Triston Thompson have been up to since the conclusion of the program. Continue  

Program Theme Spotlight: The Changing Face of Journalism

Support for free and independent media has long served as a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy. In releasing the 2015 U.S. Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, Secretary of State John Kerry focused on this point when he said “Far from threatening the democratic process, a free press and open civil society are the release valve and life blood of a thriving democracy.” Continue  

Refugee Resettlement and Integration: An IVLP for Portugal

After her husband was captured by a militant group, Hala faced the impossible choice of staying in war-torn Aleppo or seeking asylum in Europe for herself and her four children. Fleeing to Europe would mean leaving behind her mother and brother, her home, her job as an engineer—Hala would have to abandon a life she had built over 40 years. A PBS documentary followed Hala and her children through Europe as they became part of a group of more than 65 million forcibly displaced persons around the world. Continue