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
IVLP Alumni Spotlight features U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) alumni as they reflect on the impact of the program and how it has affected their work and lives. Here we feature the Director of Hope for a Child in Christ, a non-profit organisation based in Zimbabwe who participated on the IVLP in 2014. Ms. Sunga Mzeche spent three weeks in the United States visiting non-profit organisations, federal agencies, and corporations to learn about volunteerism and NGO best practices.
Meridian International Center has been implementing the U.S. Speaker and Specialist Program for India sponsored by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi since 2013. By sending U.S. experts on various fields to India, the program connects U.S. experts with Indian audiences and institutions; promotes an understanding of U.S. strategic priorities, policies and institutions; and provides opportunities to discuss the political, economic, social, and cultural context from which they arise. Cristal Williams Chancellor, who serves as the director of communications for the Women’s Media Center, was one of our experts in this program in 2018....Continue
In October of this year, a five-member group of Librarians from Mongolia participated in a three-week International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) on Library Management. Beyond Washington, DC, the group traveled to Baltimore, Maryland; Albany, New York; Akron Ohio; Iowa City, Iowa; and Reno, Nevada. Visits to public libraries were a principal component of the program and in one location, Iowa City, local librarians were grateful for the unexpected assistance of an IVLP participant. The University of Iowa brought out an old wood block tablet from Mongolia to demonstrate the library’s broad reach in showcasing other cultures for the community....Continue
On October 15, Meridian International Center implemented, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Office of International Visitors, a multi-regional project from 26 countries and representing all five major faiths on the theme of Interfaith Dialogue and Religious Freedom. The participants concluded their program in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, October 26 – just as news of the Pittsburgh shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue was breaking. The previous Friday evening was spent in a Los Angeles synagogue, where the group attended a Shabbat service and shared a Shabbat meal. Upon returning to their respective homes, the...Continue