This post was written by Rodrigo Moreschi, Meridian Center for Diplomatic Engagement Fellow.
May 6 marks 98 years since the founding of the U.S. Foreign Service — a courageous group of men and women who serve as stewards of the United States’ interests abroad and are an integral player in strengthening and promoting its bilateral and multilateral relationships. Foreign Affairs Day is an occasion to recognize what our diplomats and foreign affairs employees do at home and in more than 170 countries to advance America’s security, prosperity, and values.
Meridian supports Foreign Service employees and their diplomatic efforts by serving a key role in public diplomacy through exchanges and cultural exhibitions and offering convening opportunities to discuss top trends and critical issues. Meridian draws on more than 60 years of close relationships with the State Department to accelerate connections between public and private sector leaders across borders and cultures to address some of the most significant opportunities and obstacles facing the United States and the world.
And through the Meridian Center for Diplomatic Engagement, we cultivate the U.S. diplomats of tomorrow through DiplomacyRISE. This initiative aims to ensure that the next generation of the U.S. Foreign Service reflects America’s rich diversity and is equipped with 21st-century statecraft skills and education. Meridian is investing in the future of the diplomatic corps through efforts like the new Diplomatic Skills Training for Young Scientists course providing scientists and similar professionals interested in becoming international affairs practitioners with knowledge central to diplomacy and creating more access to the Foreign Service for community college students interested in foreign affairs through a new mentorship program. Meridian has also served as a stepping stone with staff members routinely making the jump from our NGO to the Foreign Service and rising in the ranks all the way up to the ambassador level.
On Foreign Affairs Day and every day, Meridian looks forward to continuing our work with the current diplomatic community and creating pipelines for the next generation of international relations leaders.