Investigating Human Rights Abuses through Advanced Technologies

The following post was drafted and submitted by Fernand Gouveia, Program Officer for Meridian’s Center for Global Leadership. Meridian’s Center for Global Leadership recently administered a project for the International Visitor Leadership (IVLP) program titled “Investigating and Prosecuting Human Rights Violations.” Participants included a group of ten lawyers, prosecutors, government advisors, and advocates representing various countries with compelling human rights records, including Barbados, Colombia, Mexico, and Rwanda. The program offered participants valuable insight into the use of evidence-based methods and innovative technologies investigators increasingly rely on to hold rights violators accountable and protect vulnerable populations. The odds of successfully...

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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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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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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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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: Strengthening U.S.–Japan Government Bonds

This blog post was contributed by Lee Norrgard, Program Officer in Meridian’s Professional Exchanges Division For almost 170 years, the United States and Japan have organized informational and cultural exchanges between our two countries. Arriving in 1871, Umeko Tsuda was a seven-year-old girl sent to learn Western ways in Washington, DC. Her foster parents provided schooling that led to her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. Upon returning to Japan, she founded the prestigious women’s school Tsuda University which continues the intercultural exchange first experienced by the young Umeko Tsuda. Carrying on this long tradition, in the 1970s, the Government of...

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