At Winter Reception, Meridian Welcomes Twelve New Ambassadors to Washington

H.E. Juan Ricardo De Dianous Henríquez (Ambassador of Panama), H.E. Isilio Coelho da Silva (Ambassador of Timor Leste), H.E. Ali Sharif Ahmed (Ambassador of Somalia), H.E. María Dolores Agüero Lara (Ambassador of Honduras). Photo: Jess Latos

On January 15, 2020, Meridian International Center hosted an evening reception to welcome newly-credentialed foreign ambassadors to Washington, DC. 

Meridian honors new ambassadors twice a year through Welcome to Washington receptions, which provide Chiefs of Mission with an opportunity to meet and engage with a cross-section of Washington leaders from the government, business and policy communities. Building peer-to-peer relationships in Washington is crucial for diplomats to exchange information and facilitate bilateral cooperation on a wide variety of global issues. 

This reception introduced twelve new ambassadors from Angola, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Union, Honduras, Iceland, Latvia, Panama, Somalia, Switzerland, Timor Leste, and Ukraine. Many distinguished guests from Meridian’s network were present, including The Hon. Mark Meadows (U.S. Representative, R-NC), The Hon. Jodey Arrington (U.S. Representative, R-TX) and The Hon. Rick Larsen (U.S. Representative, D-WA), Ms. Adrienne Arsht (Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation)The HonEd Royce (U.S. Representative, R-CA, 2013-2019)The Hon. Bart Gordon (U.S. Representative, D-TN, 1985-2011), The HonJames Blanchard (Governor of Michigan, 1983-1991) and Mrs. Janet Blanchard, The Hon. John Negroponte (U.S. Director of National Intelligence, 2005-2007)The Hon. Clarke Cooper (Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs), Mr. Patrick Steel (POLITICO)The Hon. Ed Moy (Director, United States Mint, 2006-2011)The Hon. Laurie Fulton (U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, 2009-2013)The Hon. Howard Gutman (U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, 2009-2013)H.E. Javier Rupérez (Ambassador of Spain, 2000-2004)and Loretta Greene (U.S. Department of Commerce). Meridian’s Board of Trustees, Diplomatic Engagement Advisory Committee, Global Leadership Council and Corporate Council were also well-represented. 

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett provided special remarks acknowledging the ambassadors’ pivotal roles in strengthening international relationsSecretary Barrett also emphasized the importance of the cultural arts in helping leaders better understand people of different backgrounds, and how politics and business are shaped by a diversity of worldviews. She previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Finland and Chair of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. 

Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President and CEO of Meridian, also recognized Akin Gump, SAHOURI, and Robertson Foundation for Government for their sponsorship of the event. 

Through the Center for Diplomatic Engagement, Meridian creates opportunities like the Welcome to Washington reception to accelerate collaboration between the international diplomatic corps and U.S. public and private sector leaders to cooperate on solutions to global economic and security issues. For more information, please visit our page. 

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Project summary

At Winter Reception, Meridian Welcomes Twelve New Ambassadors to Washington | January 2020
Number of Attendees: 188
Regions: Africa, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Eurasia, Near East and North Africa, Western Hemisphere
Countries: Angola, Argentina, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Honduras, Iceland, Latvia, Panama, Somalia, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, Canada, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Croatia
Impact Areas: Public Diplomacy
Program Areas: Convening
Partners: Private Sector