Hey there, Meridian Readers! It’s been a minute, and we’re happy to see you. We all know that it’s a busy time here in Washington, so without further ado, let’s dive in to this week’s top stories. New Pompidou Center Opens in Shanghai Publication: The New York Times | By Amy Qin If you haven’t heard of the Pompidou Center, it’s a complex building in Paris that housed the first collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe. And now it’s taking that to Asia. Museum diplomacy, anyone? We’re here for it. When the Pompidou Center first floated 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
Transparency and accountability, whether in government, business, or other spheres of public life, ensures public trust in the integrity and fairness of leaders, elected officials and public servants. International exchange programs on transparency and accountability typically highlight the roles of civil society and the media as watchdogs and catalysts for the creation and maintenance of transparent and accountable government and organizations. The importance of protecting these two concepts is recognized by civil societies and such protective efforts form the bases of numerous international exchange programs. Transparency and accountability can both be applied to a broad range of concerns in...Continue
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.