PAYLP Alumnus Brian Sibanda’s Journey from Poverty in Zimbabwe to Scholarship in the United States

For 18-year-old Zimbabwean Brian Sibanda, discovering that he had been accepted to Pomona College in California was nothing short of a dream come true. “I was very shocked and for a couple of days I thought I was dreaming.” A former participant in the Pan-African Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP) administered by Meridian International Center in partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), Brian received a full scholarship to attend Pomona College this year where he is now just days away from completing his first semester. As someone who faced adversity at a young age, this feat represents a major milestone in Brian’s ongoing journey to empower himself and the lives of youth like him in countries across Africa. Continue  

Which United Nations?

When we talk about the role and effectiveness of the United Nations, which institution are we talking about exactly? This is a question Ben Chang, a member of Meridian’s Rising Leaders Council and Managing Director at Burson-Marsteller, tackled at the start of the UN General Assembly in September as President Trump addressed the world body for the first time. Continue  

Program Theme Spotlight: Energy Security

The issue of energy security is defined by the International Energy Association as “the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price.” A U.S. foreign policy priority and a key topic for the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), projects on energy security and related topics will be coming through the programming pipeline with increasing frequency.

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Renewable Energy Studied in Iraq

IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflect on the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we feature one alumnus who participated in a multi-regional project examining energy security. The participant spent three weeks in the United States exploring the roles and work of energy suppliers, technology developers, and university researchers. The program also introduced visitors to multiple sides of the energy debate including advocates for increased use of fossil fuels, renewably sourced energy, or “all of the above.”
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Meridian’s 6th Annual Global Leadership Summit: Advancing National Interests in a Globalized Society

As a newcomer to Meridian International Center, I was excited to attend my first Global Leadership Summit. Leaders in both the public and private sector gathered at the summit to discuss how to balance national interests and America’s patriotic values while embracing globalization. Throughout the morning, security emerged as a central theme to finding this balance. Specifically, the need to develop security between borders, within trade agreements, and across digitally connected systems. As a self-identified global citizen and someone with a daily dependence on technology, I was particularly eager to learn from political and business leaders about strategies to...

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