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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2021 Trafficking in Persons Report Launch Ceremony

Since 2001, the U.S. Department of State has produced an annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) that analyzes foreign governments’ efforts to combat human trafficking and honors individuals from around the world who have made significant commitments to ending human trafficking by awarding them with the TIP Report Hero Award. The TIP Report Heroes come from various professional backgrounds but share a lifelong dedication to stopping human trafficking, protecting victims, and seeking justice for perpetrators. On Thursday, July 1, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Acting Director of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in...

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“An Existential Crisis of Diplomacy”: Pandemic Response and Potential Reforms at the State Department

This post was written by Sara Huzar, intern at Meridian’s Center for Diplomatic Engagement.  Around the world, officials are starting to lift the strict pandemic measures and replace them with softer guidelines on how to conduct business safely for the foreseeable future. For citizens and businesses, these measures widely referred to as the “new normal” feel anything but. Members of the diplomatic corps are facing the same daunting readjustment, begging the question of what might be next for diplomacy?   These are the issues that Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Congressman Joaquin Castro discussed in a virtual event hosted by Foreign Policy for America. In the conversation, moderated FPA Board...

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Women’s empowerment at Meridian International Center

As catalysts, trailblazers and change-makers, women have unquestionably shaped the world we live in today. Next month marks Women’s History Month in the U.S. and Meridian is proud to honor the accomplishments of women in diplomacy around the world through a series of programs, as well as flashbacks to our flagship initiatives that demonstrate Meridian’s commitment to championing the empowerment of women and girls.  WOMEN IN DIPLOMACY  On February 24, in partnership with Women Ambassadors Serving America, Meridian hosted over 50 former and current women ambassadors from foreign embassies and the U.S. for “Diplomatic Readiness: What skills will diplomats need in 2030 and beyond?” This program opened with the Director of National Intelligence’s Global Trends report, followed by a panel conversation, moderated...

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IVLP Alumni Spotlight: The Financial Phoenix – Bankruptcy and Growth

When thinking of bankruptcy, images of personal failures, bad management, or fraud often come to mind. However, some experts argue that bankruptcy should be perceived as a financial rebirth. Economists at the World Bank conclude that “effective bankruptcy laws that allow viable firms to reorganize and unviable ones to liquidate or be sold is a necessary condition for growth.” The U.S. has an extensive code of laws that cover financial death and rebirth for individuals, small businesses, and corporations but many other countries do not. To share how U.S. Bankruptcy law can help businesses grow, the State Department’s International...

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