Legacy of and Future for Black Professionals in Diplomacy

Candies Kotchapaw is the Founder & Executive Director of Developing Young Leaders of Tomorrow, Today (DYLOTT), a black youth-focused leadership incubator organization changing the socio-economic outlook for this marginalized community. In 2021, she participated in an IVLP project on Black Leaders & Voices. She offered the following reflections on her exchange experience. How did your virtual IVLP experience impact you? Were there any particular resources that inspired you, changed your perspective, or sparked new ideas in how to approach your work? The virtual IVLP experience was incredibly valuable in further aligning and clarifying the trajectory of my professional career....

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HERspectives: Ambassador Kathryn Hall

Kathryn Hall is a Meridian Trustee and the owner of Hall Vineyards. This blog post is part of a series highlighting and celebrating women leaders in Meridian’s network during Women’s History Month. Who is or was a female inspiration, mentor and/or hero figure to you? It has been my good fortune to have many mentors over the course of my career. My first mentor was a man, Milt Kegley, a senior executive at the first company I worked for. He understood the nuances of sexism long before these were widely recognized , and certainly far better than I as...

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HERspectives: Ms. Rusudan Gotsiridze

Ms. Rusudan Gotsiridze is a 2014 International Women of Courage awardee and the first female Baptist bishop in Georgia. She is an advocate for women’s rights and interfaith dialogues to support religious minorities. This blog post is a part of a series highlighting and celebrating women leaders in our network during Women’s History Month. Who is your female inspiration, mentor or hero figure? I have often been asked who my role model is, and I always have a hard time answering this question. I was brought up in a Soviet country, in a dissident Protestant family, in a heavily...

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HERspectives: Ms. Sadaf Usman

Ms. Sadaf Usman is a 2018 IVLP alumna, and the Director of For A Cause, a social enterprise that works to build a more peaceful, tolerant, compassionate and empowered society through self empowerment, life skills and positivity. This blog post is part of a series highlighting and celebrating women leaders in Meridian’s network during Women’s History Month.   A woman’s life has many different stages, and in each stage we come across women who inspire us and push us to be a better version of ourselves. One woman who has truly inspired me is my mother. It wasn’t until...

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HERspectives: Kazi Nazifa Tabassum Ilmika

Kazi Nazifa Tabassum Ilmika is a 2019 SUSI alumna and a marketing professional who advocates for servant leadership, especially in young women entering the military. This blog post is part of a series highlighting and celebrating women leaders in Meridian’s network during Women’s History Month. My early childhood was always filled with many extra-curricular activities and sports, thanks to my late military father. I was busy playing European football, volleyball, basketball and doing debates and public speaking besides studying in school. All these experiences made an impact in my life later, when I decided to join a para-military school...

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