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A recap of the Meridian Diplomacy Forum

Meridian was pleased to welcome 550 diplomats, global affairs practitioners and next generation international relations professionals to our Diplomacy Forum and Careers in International Affairs Networking Fair this past Friday. The Path Forward: Strengthening American Statecraft provided the chance to dive deeply into the crucial role that diplomacy plays in America’s efforts to solve our shared worldwide challenges.

The Diplomacy Forum kicked off with an important and inspirational conversation on U.S. global leadership, defending democracy at home and abroad, and how values factor into American foreign policy with H.E. Anders Fogh Rasmussen of the Alliance of Democracies Foundation and Samar Ali of Millions of Conversations.

Green Light on Climate Diplomacy

Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, the State Department’s Senior Official for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, previewed this week’s major Biden Administration focus on global climate change policy through the Leaders Summit on Climate. Marketplace Sustainability Correspondent Scott Tong also connected with current and former senior diplomats on climate diplomacy approaches taken by Norway and Los Angeles.

Diagnosing the Chronic Effects of Global Health in Diplomacy

Vaccine diplomacy alongside long-lasting effects of the pandemic on U.S. foreign policy and statecraft were covered in detail through a conversation with Georgetown Center for Global Health Practice and Impact Co-Director Mark Dybul, Chicago Community Trust CEO Helene Gayle, Japanese Deputy Chief of Mission Tamaki Tsukada, and Duke Global Health Innovation Center Director Krishna Udayakumar.

Fighting with Facts: Overcoming Disinformation

Former Republican Congressman and CIA Agent Will Hurd and Radio Free Asia’s Bay Fang launched a fascinating, as well as a bit concerning, session on how today’s diplomats are working with partners to overcome a bombardment of information technology challenges from disinformation to 5G to cyber security to artificial intelligence.  

National Security and Foreign Policy

From Russian sanctions to the September 11 withdrawal date of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, Wall Street Journal National Security Correspondent Vivian Salama covered a lot of ground on national security and diplomacy with Michèle Flournoy, former Under Secretary of Defense and Center for a New American Security Co-Founder.

We also encourage you to check out a segment with the State Department’s Acting Under Secretary for Management Ambassador Carol Perez and Director of Talent Acquisition Marjorie Ames on efforts to foster diversity and inclusion within the Department, Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro’s moving speech on his legislation to build a State Department for everyone, and an important dialogue between CNN Global Business Analyst Rana Foroohar and Listening for America’s Cathy Novelli on why international trade and economic development is so important to American prosperity, and how to make sure that the global economic system works for all.

Many thanks to those of you who joined us this past Friday, and please keep the conversation going online with your thoughts and reflections using #DiplomacyForum.