Global Business Leaders Learn How to #ThinkLikeaDiplomat at Meridian’s Corporate Diplomacy Professional Development Training

Ms. Lara Romano, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Croatia, participates in a simulation exercise.

Building on our 60-year relationship with the State Department and the global business community in D.C., Meridian International Center has launched the new Meridian Corporate Diplomacy Professional Development Training to equip corporate leaders across industries and sectors with the diplomatic tactics, strategy and insights to succeed in a competitive global business environment while enhancing leadership skills and advancing multilateral cooperation. 

On February 12, 2019, over 30 leaders from the global business community including companies such as Caterpillar, SK Group, Squire Patton Boggs LLP, 3M, IBM, WeWork, First Data, APCO Worldwide and more, participated in Meridian’s half-day workshop previewing the corporate diplomacy training curriculum. This workshop was an opportunity for senior-level business professionals to experience the curriculum and provide feedback for the full training taking place April 29 - May 1. 

The curriculum leverages Meridian’s success working with Fortune 500 companies such as AFLAC and Chevron to custom-design training programs focused on: corporate diplomacy fundamentals, forces shaping the global business environment, and corporate diplomacy tradecraft. 

Through simulations and discussions, participants gained an enhanced understanding of the work of diplomats and their stakeholder communities. Areas of focus included how American diplomats acquire cultural intelligence in preparation for work abroad and in an embassy environment, how diplomats cultivate relationships with host country contacts, and the role of protocol in cross-cultural relationships. 

Ms. Lara Romano, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Croatia, reflected on participating in the corporate diplomacy training as “a great exercise in connecting with different stakeholders outside of the ‘diplomatic bubble’. It gave me an opportunity to hear from other professionals in business, communication, marketing and civil society sectors, and get their take on policy implementation. The simulation exercise in negotiations, and based on an existing crisis, brought all these views together and added value to the discussions resulting in a holistic approach to the issue. This is diplomacy working across the aisle and reaching out to yield more concrete, comprehensive, palpable results.” 

A majority of the other participants shared similar sentiments, with 100% of those who responded to a post-training survey having found the material useful in their daily work and would recommend the program to their colleagues. 

Brad Knox, Senior Vice President and Counsel for AFLAC’s Federal Affairs, shared how his team benefited from a corporate diplomacy training at Meridian last year. “There is no other place in D.C. that is tied to the State Department and has this rich history of educating diplomats from around the world on how to deal with incredibly complex situations with incredibly complex people and get peaceful results. That’s what Meridian’s spotlight is.” 

Diplomacy is an essential tool for corporate leaders. From global public policy teams to marketing and corporate communications and human resources, nearly every division in any organization can benefit from the skills that Meridian’s Corporate Diplomacy Professional Development Training provides. 

The next Meridian Corporate Diplomacy Professional Development Training is April 29, April 30 and May 1. Learn more about the curriculum and sign up for the upcoming three-day or singular courses here. 

Project summary

Global Business Leaders Learn How to #ThinkLikeaDiplomat at Meridian’s Corporate Diplomacy Professional Development Training | February 2019
Number of Attendees: 30
Impact Areas: Business and Trade, Cultural Diplomacy, Education, Governance and Transparency
Partners: Diplomatic Corps, Private Sector, Public Sector