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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Twiplomacy, World Leaders and Social Media in a Pandemic Age

This blog post was contributed by Shaila Manyam who is the Senior Vice-President and leads international public affairs at Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW) and is a member of the Global Leadership Council at the Meridian International Center.   The spread of COVID-19 upended how governments and leaders convene, communicate and carry out their fundamental responsibilities towards citizens, and as a result social media has grown in importance as a critical channel. Around the world, people are flocking to social media to learn critical information about public health, policy changes and safety – but also to seek emotional support, reassurance and build community. As isolation becomes more common through curfews, social distancing, travel bans and telework our need...

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