An Especially Warm Welcome for Newly Arrived Ambassadors at Meridian

H.E. Zoran Popov of North Macedonia, H.E. Tumisang Mosotho of Lesotho, H.E. Jeff Gongoer Dowana, Sr. of Liberia, H.E. Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed of Maldives, H.E. Tanee Sangrat of Thailand, Ambassador Holliday CEO of Meridian, H.E. Robinah Kakonge of Uganda, Ambassador Rufus Gifford, Chief of Protocol, H.E. Viorel Ursu of Moldova, H.E. Noel Nelson Messone of Gabon, H.E. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Hadhrami of Yemen, H.E. Mohammed Haneche of Algeria, H.E. Luis Gilberto Murillo of Colombia, H.E. Miloslav Stašek of Czech Republic. Meridian House, February 15, 2023. Photo by Stephen Bobb.

In unusually sunny February weather, Meridian International Center hosted an evening reception to welcome newly arrived chiefs-of-mission to their posts in Washington, DC. Honored Ambassadors and guests were able to meet and mingle in Meridian’s historic building and Linden Grove.

Meridian hosts two Welcome to Washington receptions every year to recognize new ambassadors and provide them with an unparalleled opportunity to engage with a diverse body of Washington leaders across the public and private sectors to strengthen diplomatic relations and democracy at home and abroad.

On February 15, 2023, Meridian welcomed 12 new ambassadors at this spring reception. Those in attendance included the chiefs of mission from Algeria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Gabon, Lesotho, Liberia, Maldives, Moldova, North Macedonia, Thailand, Uganda, and Yemen.

Other notable guests included Rufus Gifford (U.S. Chief of Protocol), Margaret Brennan (CBS News), Paula Dobriansky (Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, 2001-2009), Manisha Singh (Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, 2017-2021), Andy Rabens (National Security Council and National Economic Council), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (U.S. House of Representatives 1989-2019), and Marie Royce (Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, 2018-2021).

Meridian CEO Ambassador Stuart Holliday provided remarks welcoming the newly arrived chiefs of mission, emphasizing Meridian’s belief that “we are stronger at home when globally engaged.” Ambassador Holliday also took a moment to recognize the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and recent earthquakes in Turkey and Syria, and highlighted all the important ways the international community has come together to help.

Project summary

An Especially Warm Welcome for Newly Arrived Ambassadors at Meridian | February 2023
Regions: Africa, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Near East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, Western Hemisphere
Impact Areas: Public Diplomacy
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Private Sector
Meridian Welcome to Washington