With China, Russia and Cuba leveraging Twitter to rally support of President Nicolás Maduro’s dictatorship in Venezuela, and Iran-linked social media accounts spreading anti-Saudi sentiments while anti-Rohingya propaganda online fuels violence and displacement in Myanmar, the Internet is the new battleground for authoritarian governments. As fake news saturates the digital sphere, online sources of information have become less reliable, the public has grown more susceptible to propaganda, and democracy is increasingly in danger. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that journalists around the globe are well trained and invest in freedom of the press, which is in the best international...Continue
The following Q&A was originally published in The Washington Diplomat to highlight the diplomatic and global leadership work of U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon, who serves on the advisory board of the Meridian Center for Diplomatic Engagement. The profile was written by Aileen Torres-Bennett, a contributing writer for The Washington Diplomat. Venerated U.S. Ambassador Thomas Shannon retired in February 2018 after an almost 35-year career at the State Department. He started off as a consular/political officer in Guatemala in 1984 and ended as the third highest-ranking official in the agency as undersecretary for political affairs. He also briefly served as acting secretary...Continue
This year marks the 41st anniversary of the British American Parliamentary Group (BAPG) International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), an annual exchange that is administered by Meridian International Center, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State. BAPG seeks to strengthen U.S.-UK relations, to enhance the parliamentarians’ knowledge of U.S. government, and to encourage leaders to explore the roles of non-governmental players in the formation of policy. Earlier this month, BAPG had the pleasure of welcoming six British Members of Parliament to the United States: Mr. David Duguid, Mr. Darren Jones, Mr. Damien Moore, Ms. Stephanie Peacock, and Mr. Matt...Continue
Since he famously strolled down the escalator at Trump Tower to announce his unlikely bid for the American Presidency, most foreign capitals have been wondering what to make of Donald Trump. Is he an isolationist or someone who cavalierly threatens war? Is he the world-renowned businessman who will make a deal with anyone, or is he someone who underappreciates long-time friends and allies? The answer, as is typical in foreign affairs, is complicated. As foreign diplomats in Washington, D.C. navigate their relationship with the United States of America, they should keep in mind that America maintains core interests that...Continue
This post is the sixth entry in a blog series detailing the itineraries of both current and former Heads of State who participated in a Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) project arranged by Meridian International Center. The entry below summarizes the IVLP itinerary of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė.