MEDIA ADVISORY: Meridian Diplomacy Forum Unpacks Path Forward for American Statecraft

WHEN: 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. ET | Friday, April 16, 2021

WHERE: Virtual— see details here.


April 12, 2020

The Meridian Diplomacy Forum on The Path Forward: Strengthening American Statecraft will examine the state of U.S. global leadership and approaches to modernize diplomatic practices to meet the demands of emerging challenges.

“This is a critical moment for American diplomacy," said Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Meridian CEO. "As the global pandemic, racial injustice, and threats to democratic processes have woken up the United States and the world, now is the time to develop greater comprehension of contemporary critical issues, such as cyber security, climate change, and public health to meet the complex needs of 21st century statecraft."

High-level conversations with Congressmen and Ambassadors along with thematic panel discussions will allow Diplomacy Forum participants to explore pathways for the U.S. to rebuild relationships and regain its international footing, while working towards a smarter, more strategic way to develop our diplomatic capacity around the world.

Keynotes feature leaders like The Honorable Michèle Flournoy speaking on the intersection of national security and foreign policy; Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) on designing a State Department for everyone; H.E. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former NATO Secretary General, on values-based leadership at home and on the global stage; Ambassador Carol Z. Perez, Acting Under Secretary of State for Management, on strengthening American diplomatic human capital; and The Honorable Catherine Novelli, former Under Secretary of State for Global Economic Growth, Energy and Environment on economic statecraft.

Simultaneous panel discussions will feature top voices on climate diplomacy such as Ambassador Nina Hachigian, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for International Affairs; Her Excellency Katja Nordgaard, Norway's Director General for Sustainable Development; and Ambassador Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat, Acting Assistant Secretary for the State Department's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

Conversations on global health diplomacy will feature Amb. Mark Dybul, Co-Director of the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact at Georgetown University; Amb. Tamaki Tsukada, Deputy Chief of Mission for the Embassy of Japan; Krishna Udayakumar, Founding Director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center; and Helene D. Gayle, President and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust.

While leaders working to combat disinformation will share their perspectives, including Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX); Bay Fang, President, Radio Free Asia; Amb. Arturo Sarukhan, Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; Vivian Walker, Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy at the State Department; and Harry Wingo, Cyber Studies Department Chair at National Defense University's College of Information and Cyberspace.

Building on these critical discussions, private and public sector professionals will connect with students of diplomacy and emerging leaders in foreign policy and international affairs through a virtual networking fair, which aims to advance Meridian's efforts to cultivate the next generation of diplomats who reflect America's diversity and are ready for 21st century statecraft.

"We need to reconceptualize U.S. diplomacy and, most importantly, the people who power it in order to best reflect America’s diversity," said Ambassador Holliday.

For the last 60 years, Meridian has been a platform for leaders in diplomacy, government, business and civil society to come together to collaborate on solutions to our world’s greatest challenges. The Meridian Diplomacy Forum will harness virtual technology to extend its reach beyond Washington, D.C., allowing emerging and established leaders around the world to participate and collaborate on the solutions required for modernized U.S. diplomacy, more diverse foreign policy leadership, and strengthened international cooperation.

The Meridian Diplomacy Forum is open press, on the record. Contact Megan Devlin, Director of Communications, with inquiries.


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