Community Impact highlights organizations and people in communities across the U.S. that connect with international visitors, and how those cultural exchanges impact them. Meridian collaborates with local organizations who host international participants across the U.S. through various exchange programs including the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Exchange programs allow participants to gain a diverse perspective of the country, while local communities are also exposed to people from around the world. This past November, I attended the Global Ties U.S. triannual summit in Louisville, Kentucky hosted by the World Affairs Council of Kentucky and Southern Indiana (WAC). During a networking lunch, I connected with representatives from YouthBuild Louisville, the...Continue
Corruption, an abuse of power for private gain, threatens democracy, depletes national wealth, and undermines public trust. It’s a global problem plaguing even the youngest republics, like Kosovo. The U.S. Department of State reports that Kosovo suffers from endemic government corruption and one of the Kosovo’s think tanks reports its judicial system is considered among the most corrupt. Continue
In the fall of 2018, Mr. Manuel Comeron, an alumnus of the 2017 Meridian International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) entitled “Strong Cities: Building Community Resilience to Radicalization and Violent Extremism,” was a programming partner for the Community Connections program. This iteration of Community Connections is a two-part international exchange program between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee and Liège and Verviers, Belgium during which rising American and Belgian leaders in violence prevention exchange best practices in countering violent extremism. In the first part of the program, Mr. Comeron organized a one-week program in Liège for 8 American NGO leaders, government officials,...Continue
IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflecton the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we spotlight, Ms. Antoinette Botti from Cote d’Ivoire, whose work focuses specifically on empowering women in rural environments. Ms. Botti participated in a large group project on volunteerism, and she recounts below the impact that this program had on her, both personally and professionally.
To mark the 20th Anniversary of implementing the U.S. Congress – Republic of Korea National Assembly Exchange, Meridian conducted a longitudinal study, surveying alumni from the 2007-2017 programs to assess how this exchange has impacted the 340 Americans and Koreans rising leaders who took part in the exchange. Their individual stories are a testament to the long term-impact of this exchange and of its crucial role in fostering better relations between the United State and Korea. Featured below is the personal story of Tommy Choi, an alum of the 2013 program, who shared with us as part of the...Continue