Meridian Honors New Chiefs of Mission in Fully-virtual Reception

On January 13, 2021, Meridian International Center hosted a fully-virtual evening reception to welcome newly-arrived 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 was the first new ambassador reception that Meridian hosted online. Using the innovative Shindig platform, guests were able to initiate private video chats allowing them to network as if in person. The reception introduced 12 new ambassadors from the African Union, Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Guatemala, Kenya, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uruguay, and Zambia. Many distinguished guests from Meridian’s network were present, including The Hon. Kimberly A. Bassett (Secretary of the District of Columbia), Deborah Rutter (President, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), H.E. Ashok Mirpuri (Ambassador of Singapore (2012-Present), H.E. Alexa Wesner (U.S. Ambassador to Austria, 2013-2017), Dr. Richard and Mrs. Katherine Jonas. Meridian’s Board of Trustees, Diplomatic Engagement Advisory Committee, Global Leadership Council, and Corporate Council were also well-represented.

In addition to Meridian President and CEO Ambassador Stuart Holliday, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts) provided special remarks where he thanked the ambassadors for their service and acknowledged their pivotal roles in strengthening international relations. Senator Markey emphasized the importance of diplomacy and relationship-building to combat issues from climate change to nuclear nonproliferation to human rights, and of course, combating the pandemic. Senator Markey is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

It would not be a Meridian gathering without an element of cultural diplomacy. The soulful sounds of The String Queens closed out the event through a special performance.

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.

Project summary

Meridian Honors New Chiefs of Mission in Fully-virtual Reception | January 2021
Number of Attendees: 90
Regions: Africa, Europe and Eurasia, Near East and North Africa, South and Central Asia, Western Hemisphere
Countries: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, United States, Cape Verde, South Africa, Kenya, Guatemala, Zambia, Sri Lanka, Uruguay, Singapore
Impact Areas: Public Diplomacy
Program Areas: Diplomatic Engagement