Meridian International Center, founded in 1960, is a leading non-partisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening international understanding through the exchange of people, ideas and culture.

Meridian’s mission is realized through:


Former First Lady of California, Maria Shriver, with participants of the IVLP Program Volunteerism: United We Serve


Participants of the AGOA/African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program attend workshops at Meridian

Global Leadership Exchanges
Meridian is the leading manager of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Through collaborations with governmental and private sector organizations, Meridian has created custom projects for more than 60,000 distinguished international visitors over the last 30 years. Specialized programs help civic, educational, and professional leaders from around the world forge sustainable partnerships that advance cooperation on key global initiatives.


Grammy award winner Esperanza Spalding performs at Meridian


Images from Meridian’s exhibit In Small Things Remembered: The Early Years of U.S.-Afghan Relations

Art for Cultural Diplomacy
Meridian utilizes art and culture as a powerful tool of diplomacy. International exhibitions of paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos, and performances provide a backdrop for broader discussions on the social and political dynamics of countries and cultures. Traveling exhibitions created by Meridian have reached nearly every U.S. state and over 50 countries.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at Meridian’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

Convening Power
Meridian is recognized around the world for its unique ability to convene diverse, high-level decision makers from the U.S. and abroad to provide expert analyses on the major international issues of the day. Specially designed public programs incorporate panel discussions, roundtable sessions, and conferences that bring together the right leaders and the right participants for substantive dialogue and debate.


H.E. Arturo Sarukhan, Ambassador of Mexico speaks at Meridian


H.E. Chan Heng Chee, Ambassador of Singapore moderates a Meridian program

Diplomatic Programs
Meridian is an active Washington hub for embassies and the international diplomatic corps. Briefings, forums, dinners, and cultural events deliver unique insights on America’s relations with other countries. We connect foreign and domestic business leaders, policy makers, and thought leaders in a neutral, open setting.

Democracy Video Challenge winners at the United Nations for a special screening honoring their films

Meridian’s GlobalConnect division works with public, private, and nonprofit institutions to design, develop, and implement customized exchanges. Programs designed by GlobalConnect link international leaders and professionals from a variety of industries and disciplines with their counterparts around the world. Participants share best practices and build relationships that strengthen mutual understanding on key areas of common interest.