Meridian Honors Washington Social Secretaries and Cultural Attachés

Social secretaries and cultural attachés at Meridian on August 11, 2021. Photo: Stephen Bobb


“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” said Carlos Elizondo, White House Social Secretary quoting the venerable Maya Angelou during the reception’s opening remarks.

On August 11, 2021, Meridian hosted a reception to honor embassy social secretaries and cultural attachés and their valuable role in promoting diplomacy for their countries.

Social secretaries and public diplomacy professionals work diligently to maintain an Embassy's positive public image and build relationships between a diverse range of constituents including business representatives, members of the U.S. government, and the American public. Ambassador Stuart W. Holliday, CEO of Meridian, gave welcoming remarks to the group which included U.S. government leaders, representatives from over 25 foreign embassies, distinguished members of the Meridian Council,  and members of the media. In his remarks, Ambassador Holliday stressed that the work of the assembled organizations – Meridian, the U.S. Department of State, the White House, and the diplomatic corps of Washington – would not be possible without the expert input of social secretaries and cultural attachés. Honored guest Carlos Elizondo addressed the masked crowd with touching remarks about how people will be remembered in life by how well they treat others. He also discussed the creative ways he has brought the American people and the world into the White House.

Some notable guests included Secretary of State for Washington, D.C. Kimberly Bassett, former Chief of Protocol and White House Social Secretary Ambassador Capricia Marshall, U.S. Department of State representatives from the Office of Protocol including Assistant Chief of Protocol for Ceremonials, Kristina Jeter, and Assistant Chief of Protocol, Matthew Wendel and Protocol Officer Jordan Hird. In addition, members of the White House social secretary team attended including, Deputy Associate Director, Shannon Richetti, Director of Arrangements, Nicole Butler, Associate Director, Jeannie Rangel, and Special Assistant to the Social Secretary, Manuelita Duran.

The program was generously supported by Sahouri Insurance, with delicious hors d’oeuvres and desserts prepared by Occasions Caterers and beverages provided by Hall Wines.

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