Israeli IVLP Alum reflects on Pride and LGBTQ+ Solidarity

In March 2019, Israeli national Ms. Liana Ester Meirom Asif traveled to the U.S. for an International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on “Human and Civil Rights for Marginalized Communities.” At the time, Ms. Meirom Asif was the International Funds and Resource Development Coordinator for IGY, Israel LGBTQ+ Youth. She has since taken on the role of Vice President, Resource Development and External Relations for IGY. Below, she reflects on her IVLP experience and what Pride means to her. What have you been doing since your IVLP experience? I have started new projects both at IGY, Israel’s LGBTQ+ youth organization,...

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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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Building Bridges from America to Zimbabwe

The following was written by Mr. James Horsman, IVLP Program Officer at World Learning What if you found out that something you do every day had a tremendous impact on someone’s life years earlier? What if that impact was felt across the world and you found out that person is someone in your family? All of this came true when I learned that my father-in-law, Herod Benjamin Sibanda from Zimbabwe, was a past participant in the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). His IVLP project was administered by Meridian International Center, which along with World Learning and six other National...

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The IVLP In One Pitch

I anticipated that the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)  “Demographic Change and Immigration,” which opened on April 23, 2018, would be an excellent program. Sometimes, you just get that feeling. The meetings were spot on, the cities were diverse, and the visitors had a perfect blend of professional backgrounds—a journalist, an attorney, and a few elected officials. There was also uncommon diversity in the group, including first generation and second-generation immigrants from Tajikstan and Turkey. On April 23, I thought an excellent meeting on demographics with D’Vera Cohn at Pew Research Center might be the highlight. And while that meeting...

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