Request for Proposals (RFP) – Foreign Press Centers International Reporting Tour: Innovations in Tech Policy and Navigating Artificial Intelligence

RFQ Issuance Date: June 12, 2023

Submission Deadline: June 23, 2023


Description of Services Requested

Meridian International Center seeks proposals from Community-Based Members (CBMs) and Local Organizations to identify potential speaker resources such as policy experts, academics, business leaders, and NGOs in their cities for the Innovations in Tech Policy and Navigating Artificial Intelligence International Reporting Tour (IRT) scheduled to take place September 6-16, 2023.

The Innovations in Tech Policy and Navigating Artificial Intelligence International Reporting Tour (IRT)  will highlight U.S. innovation in technology and artificial intelligence, with a specific highlight on how the United States works with partners to promote ethical expansion of new technology. The United States is home to many of the world's leading tech companies, research institutions, and startup ecosystems.  By showcasing the latest advancements in AI, robotics, and other emerging technologies, we can help foreign journalists understand how the United States is driving global innovation and contributing to the growth of the tech industry. This can help to build relationships between the United States and other countries, as well as raise awareness about the opportunities for collaboration and investment in the tech sector.  Participants will also visit university centers that focus on bringing innovation technology to the marketplace. They will also explore ways to counter the use of AI in mis- and dis-information, highlighting the need to develop strong civic safeguards in respect to technological developments.

Program goals:

  • Highlighting the strengths and achievements of the American tech industry is a valuable opportunity to share knowledge, build relationships, and promote innovation.
  • To provide an opportunity for American companies to showcase their products and services to a global audience, which can help to attract talent, customers, and investment from around the world.
  • To showcase the United States as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, which can have positive effects on the economy and global perception of the country.
  • To inspire others to contribute to the growth and development of the sector, and work together to shape the future of technology.
  • To stress the need for international cooperation in developing guardrails for the use of new technologies such as AI, which can benefit humanity but also be dangerous tools for bad actors.

Functional Requirements

The Foreign Press Centers (FPC) work to promote accuracy, objectivity, and balance in foreign media coverage of issues of strategic importance to the United States. FPC engages directly with foreign media to advance U.S. foreign policy priorities by providing them with direct access to authoritative sources of information. Since 2006, Meridian has supported the administrative and logistical aspects of FPC’s reporting tours and media-co-ops, bringing journalists from across the world to report from the United States.

An International Reporting Tour provides access for foreign journalists to policymakers, leaders, activists, and businesspeople. Selected journalists will travel to the United States for a 10-day program that includes stops in Washington, DC and two additional U.S. cities. Journalists will file reports on the IRT topic upon their return home and often provide additional reporting during the program through social media, live streams, and other media. Meridian will partner with local organizations in these two additional cities to identify potential resources and schedule on-the-record meetings.

For the Innovations in Tech Policy and Navigating Artificial Intelligence International Reporting Tour (IRT), Meridian and FPC plan to spend 2-3 days in each city-stop. Once partner organizations are selected, dates for each city-stop will be confirmed. Dates will be between September 6 and 16, 2023.

The role of the local partners in this IRT will be to research, identify, and confirm speakers for on-the-record interviews, typically one to two hours long with possible one-on-one interviews afterwards. During each meeting, journalists will record audio and visual content. Preferred resources will have previous experience engaging with media and/or external resources. For the city-stops outside Washington, DC, local partners will arrange on-the-record meetings such as:

  • Briefings with state and local regulators and officials.
  • Tours of innovation labs at universities and tech centers, meeting with faculty members and students who are working on cutting-edge AI projects.
  • Tours of some of the leading AI companies, top tech-centric retails companies, health-related technology firms, and electric car manufacturers; meetings with executives and experts in the field.
  • Discussions on the use of AI to enhance transparency of government business, foster efficiency in customer service for government services.
  • Experts to discuss the development of technology as a global commodity.

Depending on program needs, partners may be asked to help escort participants to meetings during the city-stop.

Partners will work with Meridian and FPC to identify the final schedule of meetings through the following workflow:

  • Potential Speaker Resources presented by a partner as part of the proposal.
  • Upon selection, Feedback on Speaker Resources provided by Meridian and FPC, including any areas for additional resources
  • Approval of Speaker Resources to Invite provided by Meridian and FPC for partner to begin coordination
  • Updates on Speaker Invitations provided by partners to Meridian and FPC
  • Additional Approval of Speaker Resources provided by Meridian and FPC as needed for partner to complete schedule

Draft and Final Schedules provided by partner to Meridian and FPC with briefing details, speaker bios, and organizational background info.

Submission Materials

Proposals should include:

  • Short summary of mission and past performance of the Community-Based Member (CBM), including any experience facilitating on-the-record meetings.
  • Brief introduction to the CBM’s location and its relevance to the topic area(s) identified above. CBMs may submit a proposal for one or more topic area(s).
  • 8 to 15 potential speaker resources, including for each resource:
    • Proposed on-the-record meeting topic
    • Program goal addressed
    • Brief bio and description of their organization
    • Links to any previous media appearances
    • Any relevant b-roll or material that could be captured on site
  • Up to five suggested cultural activities, for participants to consider during free time.
  • Proposed fee to research and arrange two days of on-the-record meetings.

Selection and Timing

Proposals must be submitted to the Meridian FPC team at by Friday, June 23.

Proposals will be evaluated by Meridian and the Foreign Press Centers on the following criteria: 

Past Performance (40%)

  • Key personnel have knowledge and experience implementing programs for journalists and a strong knowledge of community resources.
  • Organization has experience successfully designing programs directly related to the areas of the IRT.

Strength of Proposed Resources (40%)

  • Proposal is directly related to the IRT areas mentioned above.
  • Proposed resources are relevant to identified IRT area(s) of focus with experience engaging with media and/or external relations.
  • Proposed resources reflect the diversity of the United States.

Budget (20%)

  • Proposed costs are reasonable, allowable, and allocable.

For any questions about this RFQ, please contact

General Terms

  • a) Meridian reserves the right to accept or reject any quotations or to cancel this RFQ process.
  • b) Selected consultants will adhere to Data Processing Agreement terms and to prohibition on use of certain telecommunication and video surveillance services or equipment as defined in Section 889(a)(1) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Pub. L. 115-232) and as more specifically defined in Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause 52.204-25 Prohibition on Contracting for Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment.