Diplomatic Program on U.S. Presidential Elections

On Wednesday September 12, 2012, Meridian International Center and THIS for Diplomats hosted an Insights at Meridian program, “On the Campaign Trail: The Road to November.” The event, part in a series designed for the diplomatic community, focused on the 2012 U.S. Presidential Elections. Meridian’s Ambassador Stuart Holliday opened the program to welcome the diplomatic community, as well as a group of international journalists visiting the U.S. with the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).

Her Excellency Muni Figueres, Ambassador of Costa Rica, served as the moderator for the insightful discussion, with speakers John Feehery, President of Quinn Gillespie Communication & Director of QGA Government Affairs and Jack Quinn, Co-founder and Chairman, QGA Public Affairs sharing their respective views on the upcoming elections. Topics of discussion included the recent Republican and Democratic Conventions, as well as those key campaign issues including voter fraud, super PACs, immigration, same-sex marriage, and healthcare reform. The foreign policy views of both candidates were debated, including foreign assistance to developing countries, policies on migration, and prioritizing particular regions of the world. Ambassador Figueres opened the discussion to the audience, with journalists from Nigeria, Vietnam, Jamaica, Ecuador and Kosovo, as well as the Ambassadors of the Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, and South Sudan weighing in with their questions and comments.

Ambassador Sharon Wilkinson, Senior Diplomatic Advisor to Meridian, and Phyllis Kaplan, President of THIS, concluded the event by thanking the event speakers, diplomats, and guests for their participation.

Project summary

Diplomatic Program on U.S. Presidential Elections
Number of Visitors: 5
Regions: Africa, Western Hemisphere, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasia
Countries: Nigeria, Ecuador, Jamaica, Vietnam, Republic of Kosovo
Impact Areas: Governance and Transparency, Public Diplomacy, Media and Journalism
Program Areas: Forums, Exchanges
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Public Sector, NGOs