IVLP: New Experiences, New Friends & New Perspectives

This post was submitted by Navjeev Singh, IVLP alum from Singapore. When I first found out that I was invited to an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), I was chuffed. After all, a quick Google search tells you it is the U.S. State Department’s premier professional exchange program. It is invite-only. It has been around for over 80 years. Over 500 current or former Chiefs of State or Heads of Government had attended an IVLP. My expectations for this program were set very high as a result.   I was invited to represent Singapore at the IVLP on Advancing an Open, Reliable, and Secure Digital...

Continue  

In-person Programming Fosters Return to Cultural and Personal Connections

After two years of virtual meetings, where we perfected the use of Zoom and asking people to unmute, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) has returned to in-person programs at full speed. While we all appreciated the chance to still connect during the throes of the pandemic, there is no true substitution for the connection face to face interaction offers. This was recently highlighted in the experience of Team SVAT, standing for Special Visitors, Ashi, and Tatyana (in reference to their resolute liaison team). This contingent of seven participants from various countries recently came to the U.S. for a...

Continue  

Embracing Pride through International Exchanges

The following post was written by Jack Fornasiero, Meridian’s Executive Office and Communications Fellow.   Each year, Meridian engages international visitors through exchange and leadership programs that strive to uplift the global LGBTQ+ community, in addition to our work ensuring the U.S. foreign service represents Americans abroad through diplomacy, cultural exchange, and informed leadership. During Pride Month and beyond, Meridian is proud to stand by our LGBTQ+ staff at Meridian, the U.S. Department of State, our community-based members, corporate partners, and those in the foreign service.   Meridian’s long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion is exemplified through programming like...

Continue  

Reflections on AAPI Heritage Month with Meridian’s AAPI Affinity Group

Meridian believes the United States is stronger and the world is more prosperous when leaders collaborate across countries and cultures. Our core values reflect our principles and beliefs, serving a purpose to guide both the internal culture of our workplace and the external impact of our work and partnerships.   Our global leadership, culture, and diplomacy pillars actively empower international leaders, and our work amplifies diverse voices to create pathways for greater understanding, shared values, and respect for all cultures while transforming our global society to build a more equitable and just world for all.   During Asian American...

Continue  

PAYLP 2021 Mini-Grant Spotlight: The “Voninga” Project

The following post was written by Dário Macucule an Adult Mentor for the U.S. Department of State’s Pan Africa Leadership Program (PAYLP) implemented by Meridian. Macucle is from Mozambique. My name is Dário Macucule, and I am a teacher at Manhiça Secondary School, located in a village in southern Mozambique. This past March, I implemented The “Voninga” Project with the support of a PAYLP Alumni Mini-Grant to guide graduating high school students as they chart their futures. The word Voninga comes from Changanga (or Shangaan/ Tsonga), a native language is spoken in the south of Mozambique, and means “enlighten.”  From wishing for role models… When I was a student,...

Continue