Engaging with American Voters Outside of the Beltway

As opportunities for members of the foreign diplomatic corps to engage directly with American citizens outside of the Washington area have cut down significantly in the wake of the pandemic, the Meridian Center for Diplomatic Engagement partnered with WorldDenver to provide an opportunity for candid discussion of the major issues in advance of the election with voters from Denver, Colorado.

Using the innovative video networking platform Shindig, Meridian hosted small group and one-on-one conversations focused on the mail-in voting process, the priorities for voters in the local, state and federal elections, and Colorado’s contentious Senate race. Diplomats from Washington shared their own experiences of electoral processes in their home countries, as well as how the American election is being reported on abroad.

The program was held in response to the findings from Meridian’s just-released report, Redefining Diplomacy in the Wake of COVID-19, in which 20 diplomats shared how their diplomatic practices had shifted due to the pandemic. One of the major take-aways was that not only did they sorely miss chances for face-to-face contact with Americans, but also faced difficulties in reporting the reality outside of Washington to their home capitals.

This is the latest project within the regular Diplocraft program series for diplomats to hear from and interact with organizations and individuals on the front lines of political, social, security and economic issues in Washington and beyond. This series includes policy deep dives, peer networking opportunities and navigating Washington seminars.

Project summary

Engaging with American Voters Outside of the Beltway | October 2020
Number of Attendees: 18
Regions: Africa, Europe and Eurasia, Near East and North Africa, Western Hemisphere
Countries: Croatia, El Salvador, Malawi, Morocco
Impact Areas: Civic Engagement, Governance and Transparency
Program Areas: Diplomacy
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Individuals/Donors