Crossing Aisles, Crossing Borders: Congressional and Ambassadorial Spouses Forge Relationships at Meridian Luncheon

Megan Beyer, member of the 50th Meridian Ball Leadership Committee, and Debbie Meadows, member of the Meridian Ball Honorary Committee. Photo by Stephen Bobb

With the 50th Annual Meridian Ball fast approaching, Meridian, in collaboration with Ball Committee members Megan Beyer and Debbie Meadows, hosted a luncheon in honor of congressional and ambassadorial spouses on September 6 at Meridian House. The event brought together the spouses of congressional representatives on both sides of the aisle and ambassadors from around the world to celebrate the important relationship between Congress and DC’s diplomatic community, highlighting the Meridian Ball as the occasion for strengthening this relationship.

More than 30 guests attended the lunch, including Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs; The Honorable Anita McBride, former White House and diplomatic advisor; and author and businessperson Candy Carson. After some mingling, Ambassador Stuart W. Holliday, President and CEO of Meridian, welcomed the guests with remarks about the longstanding collaboration between Meridian and congressional and ambassadorial spouses, saying, “Diplomatic and congressional spouses have been the lifeblood of our organization.”

Beyer and Meadows then addressed fellow congressional and ambassadorial spouses over lunch, offering their testimonials about the Ball and its role in Meridian’s work to bridge divides and bring people together. “This is the place where they cross aisles, cultural boundaries, and time zones, and create mutual understanding between cultures,” said Beyer, who is the spouse of U.S. Representative Don Beyer (D-VA) and a member of the 50th Meridian Ball Leadership Committee.

Meadows and her husband U.S. Representative Mark Meadows (R-NC) have attended the Meridian Ball for the past few years and serve on its honorary committee. “The Ball is by far our favorite event in Washington,” Meadows said. “We felt like we had discovered a hidden gem when we were first included. It’s kind of like the world’s best wedding – you meet friends, you see a lot of diplomats, and everyone feels welcome. We’ve never left and not made a new friend or two.”

Project summary

Crossing Aisles, Crossing Borders: Congressional and Ambassadorial Spouses Forge Relationships at Meridian Luncheon | September 2018
Number of Attendees: 34
Regions: Africa, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Near East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, Western Hemisphere
Countries: Bahrain, Botswana, Egypt, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, United States
Impact Areas: Public Diplomacy
Program Areas: Convening
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Public Sector