Why Commercial Diplomacy Is Important

Washington, D.C. seems like the center of the universe right now. The U.S. Government is going through a transformation in its norms and practices. While much of this can be attributed to President Trump’s unique management style, this is also part of a broader strategy to re-think America’s leadership on the world stage. There are numerous examples of the ‘America First’ policy shaping both the domestic and international arenas, however, the one constant in Washington’s ever-changing landscape is the leadership of the business community. Commercial Diplomacy has become more important than ever. As business interests in foreign markets continue,...


Expanding the Impact of Women Entrepreneurs in Africa

Each year U.S. missions nominate leading women entrepreneurs from sub-Saharan Africa to participate in the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). AWEP was launched in 2010 to bolster the economic impact on women entrepreneurs during the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. This post was written by Elizabeth Barry and Mark Rebstock. Continue  

Discovering Cuba Through Its Culture

Despite Cuba’s geographic proximity to the United States, historical circumstances have served to widen the distance between our two countries. As both nations begin to turn the page towards a future of greater closeness and cooperation, leaders from both sides of the straits are seeking ways to increase understanding and develop relationships between our countries. In April of 2016, led by Ambassador Stuart Holliday, a distinguished group of members of Meridian International Center’s Board of Trustees and other supporters, undertook a trip to Cuba. Consistent with Meridian’s mission to “understand global issues and cultures, exchange ideas, collaborate on solutions,...


Top 5 Tips for Best P3s

Public Private Partnership : a government service or private business venture that is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. Whether in Washington or around the world, many are justifiably weary of the term. We hear it frequently. It is thrown around as a “catch all” term, but has no intrinsic value; it is simply a descriptor. The marker of a public private partnership is attached to all manner of initiatives from the electric grid to highways and job training. PPPs, as they are dubbed in the alphabet soup of Washington,...


Foreign Policy Matters: How Diplomacy Impacts Americans

“Foreign Policy” – the term itself sounds like an intangible, rigid set of rules and regulations by which governments, ambassadors, and other high-level officials abide. Distant and far removed from everyday life, and sometimes, foreign policy can seem to be just that – especially with the closed door discussions that characterize much of the field. At best, the public only sees these high-level diplomatic meetings, summits, and conferences in the media; at worst, they see cocktail receptions and junkets. Regardless, they very rarely feel as if they participate directly. The fact is nothing could be further from the truth....