More than 800 Top World Leaders Gather at the 47th Annual Meridian Ball to Celebrate Effective Global Leadership


On Friday, October 16, 2015, more than 800 top world leaders gathered at the 47th Annual Meridian Ball in support of the organization’s ongoing efforts to prepare private and public sector leaders around the world for a complex future. The Ball enjoyed record-breaking attendance and proved, once again, to be one of Washington’s most celebrated events.   The 47th Annual Meridian Ball, chaired by Ambassador Beatrice Welters and Mr. Anthony Welters, was made possible through the generous support of Corporate Chair The Coca-Cola Company; Ambassador’s Circle Sponsors Chevron and Gallup; Diplomat’s Circle Sponsors BARD, DLA Piper, HESS, and The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates; and numerous other corporate sponsors and individual contributors.

The Ball was the culmination of a day of Global Leadership which began with the Meridian Global Leadership Summit in the morning of October 16th, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. With 250 leaders from the private and public sectors in attendance, Meridian explored the impact of foreign policy on national security, economic stability, business growth, and other key issues which directly impact the quality of life of people around the world. Key highlights of the Summit included remarks by Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and a Conversation with President and Chief Operating Officer of The Coca-Cola Company James Quincey.

Following the Summit, in the evening, top leaders from the diplomatic, public, corporate, and social sectors continued their networking, relationship-building, and cultural exchange at the Meridian Ball. This year, pre-Ball Dinners were hosted at Meridian’s White-Meyer House, as well as 24 Embassies including the Embassies of Argentina, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Panama, Qatar, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia and Turkey.

This year’s Ball held true to its reputation as gathering place for several of the world’s powerful decision-makers. VIPs and celebrities in attendance included:

  • Congressional Chairs of the Meridian Ball Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Mrs. Pat Engel and Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Mrs. Sandy Buchanan
  • Honorary Sponsor of the Meridian Ball, Chief of Protocol of the United States Ambassador Peter Selfridge
  • Meridian Ball Chairs Ambassador Beatrice Welters and Mr. Anthony Welters
  • Corporate Chair of the Meridian Ball Clyde Tuggle, Senior Vice President, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer of The Coca-Cola Company
  • Ambassador of Argentina H.E. Cecilia Nahon; Ambassador of Barbados H.E. John Beale; Ambassador of Germany H.E. Peter Wittig; Ambassador of Panama H.E. Emanuel Arturo González-Revilla; Ambassador of Switzerland H.E. Martin Dahinden; Ambassador of Egypt H.E. Yasser Reda; Ambassador of Tunisia H.E. Mohamed Salah Tekaya; Ambassador of Ireland H.E. Anne Anderson; Ambassador of Sri Lanka H.E. Prasad Kariyawasam; and Ambassador of Grenada H.E. E. Angus Friday.
  • DC Councilmember Jack Evans
  • Media Celebrities: CNN’s Political Correspondent Dana Bash, White House Correspondent Michelle Kosinski, and National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto; ABC’s Gloria Riviera; and Jonathan Capehart, contributor to the Washington Post and MSNBC, Howard Fineman
  • House of Card stars, Jayne Atkinson-Gill & Michel Gill; actor Spencer Garrett

Presiding over this year’s Ball was Honorary Chair Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States; Honorary Sponsor Ambassador Peter A. Selfridge, Chief of Protocol of the United States; Congressional Co-Chairs Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Mrs. Pat Engel and Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Mrs. Sandy Buchanan; Ball Chairs Ambassador Beatrice Welters and Mr. Anthony Welters; White-Meyer Chairs Mr. Eric Larsen and Mrs. Susanne Larsen; and Young Professional Chairs Mr. Josh Rogin and Ms. Ali Weinberg.

For more information on the Meridian Ball, follow us at #MeridianBall and stay tuned to for photos, press updates, articles, and other key information.

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