Teaching in Rural Japan Amidst a Pandemic

The following was written by Regan McAllister, former Fellow in Meridian’s Professional Exchanges Division. Her perspective displays how people around the world are facing the same challenges and how we can be stronger at home by understanding global issues. Last August, I moved to a small town in northern Japan to be an English Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) through the Japan Exchanges and Teaching (JET) Program. The first seven months of living in Aomori, Japan, were lively and full of seasonal festivals, school events and regional traveling. As I enter my second year, a ‘new normal’ has taken hold...

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Alumni Impact: Fernanda Teresinha da Silva

This blog post was originally published on FIUTS, through their Alumni Impact social media campaign to recognize the work being done by exchange alumni all around the world. The author is Fernanda Teresinha da Silva who was a 2019 SUSI alumni from Brazil.  I’m Fernanda Teresinha da Silva from Brazil and I participated in the SUSI on Youth, Education and Closing Skills Gap 2019. Through the program, I feel like I advanced my understanding of humanity, my knowledge of my own potential and my outlook on my mission as an engineer and as part of the technological revolution that...

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“An Existential Crisis of Diplomacy”: Pandemic Response and Potential Reforms at the State Department

This post was written by Sara Huzar, intern at Meridian’s Center for Diplomatic Engagement.  Around the world, officials are starting to lift the strict pandemic measures and replace them with softer guidelines on how to conduct business safely for the foreseeable future. For citizens and businesses, these measures widely referred to as the “new normal” feel anything but. Members of the diplomatic corps are facing the same daunting readjustment, begging the question of what might be next for diplomacy?   These are the issues that Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Congressman Joaquin Castro discussed in a virtual event hosted by Foreign Policy for America. In the conversation, moderated FPA Board...

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Passing the Arts Test for These COVID-19 Times

This blog post was contributed by Frank F. Islam, who is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, civic leader and a member of Meridian’s Cultural Diplomacy Leadership Council. Meridian is committed to implementing the arts and culture as an instrument to promote diplomacy and global leadership and exchange. “The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of the nation, is close to the center of a nation’s purpose – and is a test to the quality of a nation’s civilization.” – John F. Kennedy COVID-19 put the arts industry to the test in ways not...

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A Need for Corporate Diplomats in the time of COVID-19

This blog post was contributed by Abby Bowman, a recent Carlos M. Gutierrez Corporate Diplomacy Fellow at Meridian who is now working with a Meridian Corporate Council member organization, AT&T.  As I prepared for my work as the Corporate Diplomacy Fellow at Meridian, I (of course) had no idea that this same timeframe would come to be defined by the global pandemic. I spent my first few months in the historic houses across from Meridian Hill, playing a small role in Meridian’s convenings of U.S. Government officials, foreign Ambassadors, and senior private sector leaders. As in-person gatherings were slowly canceled, and whispers of work-from-home escalated into a new reality, I worried that...

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