Press Release: Meridian International Center Hosts Public Diplomacy Panel at the North Capital Forum by U.S. Mexico Foundation

September 28, 2022 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Washington, D.C. – The Meridian Corporate Council, part of the Meridian International Center, hosts a public diplomacy panel at the U.S. Mexico Foundation’s North Capital Forum and serves as one of the Forum’s affiliate partners. The North Capital Forum is a 3-day event focusing on understanding North America's main challenges and creating mutually beneficial solutions. The Forum will take place in Mexico City from September 28-30, 2022, with Meridian’s panel, “A Modern Diplomat's Toolbox: How to Use Diplomacy to Further North America’s Identity,” taking place on September 29, 2022.

Panel Description: Public diplomacy, also known as people's diplomacy, includes all efforts to convince targeted sectors and non-state actors of foreign opinion to support a government's strategic objectives. The private sector and civil society have an increased interest in engaging with foreign citizens and promoting their corporate social responsibility work as diplomacy transforms into a non-traditional form of foreign direct investment. The panel “A Modern Diplomat's Toolbox: How to Use Diplomacy to Further North America’s Identity” will dive into the advantages of public diplomacy across sectors and break down ways stakeholders can navigate this new territory.

Panelist Biographies:

Enrique Acevedo, Correspondent, CBS News: Enrique Acevedo is a CBS News correspondent who reports across multiple broadcasts and platforms. At CBS News, Acevedo has reported on a wide range of topics, including the 2020 Presidential Election, the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the violence against journalists in Mexico.

An Emmy award-winning journalist, Acevedo has covered major news stories around the globe in English and Spanish for print, broadcast, and online media. His work includes coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic's toll on the U.S.-Mexico border, three U.S.. presidential elections, the 2012 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, the AIDS epidemic in Africa, the drug wars in Mexico, and the impact of Climate Change across Latin America. He has interviewed many world leaders such as President Barack Obama, Kofi Annan, Melinda Gates, Juan Manuel Santos, and Desmond Tutu, among others.

Acevedo has been called "The Voice" of the Latino community by the Huffington Post and a "Global Media Leader" by the World Economic Forum. He first joined CBS News as a correspondent for 60 Minutes+, the streaming edition of CBS News' iconic newsmagazine 60 Minutes on Paramount+.

Before CBS News, Acevedo was the anchor of the award-winning Noticiero Univision's late-night edition and a special correspondent for Univision's news division. His columns have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, El País, and Reforma. He's been a guest in the major U.S. news networks as an expert on Hispanics, politics, and policy. For his contributions to journalism in the public interest and to news literacy, he earned the News Literacy Project's John S. Carroll Journalist Fellow Award for 2019. He also is one of the youngest recipients of the national journalism prize awarded by Mexico's Press Club.

Natalie Jones, Executive Vice President, Meridian International Center: Natalie Jones serves as Executive Vice President of Meridian, where she oversees Meridian’s three Centers: Global Leadership, Diplomacy, and Culture, and cultivates strategic philanthropic and programmatic partnerships for the organization. Since joining Meridian in June 2017 as Senior Vice President for External Affairs and Diplomatic Engagement, Natalie has driven ​programmatic and financial organizational growth by spearheading the development of new initiatives, including the Meridian Council, the Center for Diplomatic Engagement, DiplomacyRISE, and Culturefix.

Before joining Meridian, she served as Deputy Chief of Protocol of the United States. Throughout her tenure at the U.S. Department of State, Natalie worked with over 100 foreign governments and delegations on their visits to the United States and traveled with the President, Vice President, and Secretary of State to advise on protocol and logistical considerations of overseas trips. She led large teams to plan and execute high-level international summits, state visits, and diplomatic events and served as a central interlocutor between foreign governments, the U.S. Department of State, and the White House throughout the complex planning process. Before being promoted to Deputy Chief of Protocol in July 2011, she served as Assistant Chief of Protocol for Ceremonials from April 2009 – July 2011, where she oversaw the planning of all official and ceremonial events hosted by the Secretary of State. In addition to her leadership and operational experience at the U.S. Department of State, Jones cultivated a network of relationships in the diplomatic community by building a series of public-private partnership programs to promote engagement between leaders in the government, business, and cultural sectors and the foreign diplomatic corps.

Jones joined the U.S. Department of State with six years of fundraising and development experience. She raised millions of dollars for political candidates and organizations, including the Democratic National Committee (2008, 2004), Secretary Hillary Clinton (2007-2008), and Senator Evan Bayh (2004-2006).

Jones graduated with a B.A. in political science from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and lives in Washington, D.C.

Brittany Masalosalo, Global Head - Government Affairs and Public Policy, HP: Brittany Masalosalo is the Global Head of Government Affairs & Public Policy at HP Inc. The Government Affairs team's work is vital to HP, delivering value by proactively identifying, quantifying, and assessing geopolitical trends, influencing government policies, and coordinating HP’s public policy position. Masalosalo and the Government Affairs team partner closely with the Global Business Units to help shape HP’s growth and development strategies, representing HP’s positions before policymakers, legislators, and regulators worldwide. This work helps to advance HP’s goals of advocating for policies and fostering relationships that reflect HP’s values and enable success.

Before joining HP, Masalosalo worked at 3M as the Head of International Government Affairs, representing 3M’s positions before domestic and international trade institutions, the international diplomatic community, multilateral and bilateral institutions, and other international audiences. She also worked at the White House in the Office of the Vice President as a senior advisor for National Security and Foreign Policy. While she was originally hired by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, she continued to serve with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence until deciding to join 3M. Her portfolio includes regional and functional policy areas such as trade, international economics, and global health security.

Before working at the White House, Masalosalo worked for several years at the Pentagon in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She has also spent time living in Belgium, working with NATO partners and allies. While serving in the U.S. Army, Masalosalo deployed twice to Iraq and is a decorated veteran. She holds an M. Ed from North Central University and a B.A. from American Military University.

Daniela Michel, Founding Director, Morelia International Film Festival: Daniela Michel is the Founding Director of the Morelia International Film Festival, an annual event launched in 2003 to support and promote a new generation of Mexican filmmakers. The festival has an ongoing partnership with the Critics’ Week section of the Cannes Film Festival.  She holds a degree in English Literature from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and studied filmmaking at Mexico’s Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica. She has curated major retrospectives of Mexican classic cinema in and outside Mexico. Michel has also served on the Jury for the Un Certain Regard and La Semaine de la Critique sections of the Cannes Film Festival, the Berlin International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, the Locarno International Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the Red Sea International Film Festival, the Sarajevo Film Festival, among other festivals, as well as the Rockefeller Foundation’s Media Arts Fellowships, the Fulbright García-Robles Film Fellowships, the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative.

Rachel Poynter, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Mexico and Canada, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State: Rachel Poynter, a career member of the Senior Executive Service, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for North America, covering our bilateral relationships with Mexico and Canada. She most recently served as the Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Coordination in the Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau, where she coordinated the Bureau’s work on regional and global issues, foreign assistance planning in Latin America and the Caribbean, congressional affairs, and hemispheric strategy development.

Poynter previously served as the Office of Mexican Affairs Director and the Department’s U.S.-Mexico Border Coordinator. She was the Director for North American Affairs at the National Security Council from 2013-14, a portfolio that included preparing the President for his participation in the North American Leaders Summit. Poynter spent five years working in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and was a Brookings Fellow with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, where she worked on trade issues. She has an M.P.A and an M.A. in Latin American Studies, both from the University of Texas at Austin.

 Teresa Verthein, Head of Government Affairs - Mexico, Colombia, and Central America, Salesforce: As Salesforce’s Head of Government Affairs in the territory, Verthein engages with the public sector and other stakeholders, such as academia and NGOs, to build partnerships that will drive digital transformation in the region guided by the company’s core values of trust, customer success, equality, and innovation. She advocates for policies that strengthen the cloud services environment while accelerating growth and inclusion.

Before joining Salesforce, Verthein was a Commercial Advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico. In that role, she counseled senior Embassy leadership on digital policy and helped U.S. small, medium, and large companies in the information and communications technology sector navigate the Mexican policy, regulatory, and business environments. Before this, Verthein had built a career of 10 years as an independent consultant on policy and commercial issues with a focus on facilitating the business development of U.S. companies in Mexico.

Verthein studied liberal arts at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has a B.A. in Philosophy with a focus on logic from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has a specialization in Digital Law from Universidad Anahuac. Verthein is US/Mexican binational and bicultural. She enjoys reading, writing, film, and visual arts and getting out of the city.

For questions and more information, please contact Meridian Director of Communications and Marketing Danielle Najjar at   


Meridian International Center is a nonpartisan nonprofit that strengthens engagement between the United States and the world through global leadership, diplomacy, and culture. Meridian brings together a cross-section of established and emerging leaders from countries worldwide and in the U.S. to effectively meet the challenges of a complex global future. For over 60 years, Meridian has equipped thousands of leaders with the networks, insights, and cultural context essential for nonpartisan collaboration on shared issues.

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