Cartoons in the COVID-19 Era

Political cartoons can be biting or amusing, and in a moment of crisis they can illustrate a simple, persuasive point with no words at all. It is a form of satire that gives insight into the events and issues happening all around us. Amid a global pandemic, when there is information everywhere, using a picture may be more poignant than a lengthy paragraph and political cartoons grab attention and make the reader pay head. So how are cartoonists in the Middle East depicting the coronavirus in their work? Meridian administered a U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in the Fall...


Actions Speak Louder Than Words in Trump’s Foreign Policy Agenda 

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...


Refugee Resettlement and Integration: An IVLP for Portugal

After her husband was captured by a militant group, Hala faced the impossible choice of staying in war-torn Aleppo or seeking asylum in Europe for herself and her four children. Fleeing to Europe would mean leaving behind her mother and brother, her home, her job as an engineer—Hala would have to abandon a life she had built over 40 years. A PBS documentary followed Hala and her children through Europe as they became part of a group of more than 65 million forcibly displaced persons around the world. Continue  

Educating the Next Generation of Global Leaders: #MeridianSummit

I am so incredibly lucky. I was born in America in a prosperous time to parents that not only valued my education, but had the time, resources, and capacity to be fully engaged. They sacrificed to send me to private schools, staying up until all my homework was done and explaining difficult concepts until they wanted to pull their hair out. But they did so I would have as many opportunities as possible. They poured their all into my education and in turn, gave me an impassioned outlook on my future. That is why I cannot get Deputy Secretary...