Meridian Welcomes Twenty New Ambassadors to Washington

(Left to Right) H.E. Khazar Ibrahim (Ambassador of Azerbaijan), Rep. Bi-khim Hsiao (Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office), H.E. Moosa Hamdan Al Tai (Ambassador of Oman), H.E. Andrei Muraru (Ambassador of Romania), H.E. Manasvi Srisodapol (Ambassador of Thailand), H.E. Nicole Bintner (Ambassador of Luxembourg), H.E. Milena Mayorga (Ambassador of El Salvador), H.E. José Antonio Dos Santos (Ambassador of Paraguay), The Hon. Ann Stock (Meridian), H.E. Kristjan Prikk (Ambassador of Estonia), The Hon. Stuart W. Holliday (Meridian), H.E. Bocchit Edmond (Ambassador of Haiti), H.E. Oksana Markarova (Ambassador of Ukraine), H.E. Samuel Hinds (Ambassador of Guyana), H.E. Marko Đurić (Ambassador of Serbia), H.E. Baktybek Amanbaev (Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan), H.E. Radovan Javorčík (Ambassador of Slovakia), H.E. Tadeous Tafirenyika Chifamba (Ambassador of Zimbabwe), H.E. Juan Carlos Pinzón (Ambassador of Colombia), H.E. Cissé Boide (Ambassador of Mauritania), H.E. Jean-Arthur Régibeau (Ambassador of Belgium), H.E. Hasan Murat Mercan (Ambassador of Turkey).

On September 14, 2021, Meridian International Center hosted an outdoor evening reception in their Linden Grove to welcome newly arrived 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. This particular reception was special in that guests relished the chance to engage with one another in person for what was for some the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

This was also the most ambassadors that Meridian has honored at a reception of this kind. Those in attendance included the ambassadors from Azerbaijan, Belgium, Colombia, El Salvador, Estonia, Guyana, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Luxembourg, Mauritania, Oman, Paraguay, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, as well as the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Representative. Many high-profile guests from Meridian’s network were present including Mark Feierstein (Principal Advisor to the Administrator, USAID), The Hon. Paula Dobriansky (Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, 2001-2009), The Hon. Capricia Marshall (U.S. Chief of Protocol, 2009-2013), Marta Youth (Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of State), Jonathan Henick (Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of State), The Hon. Marie Royce (Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, 2018-2021), The Hon. Ann Stock, Megan Beyer, The Hon. Stuart Bernstein (U.S. Ambassador to Denmark, 2001-2005), Josh and Ali Rogin, Aviva and Dan Rosenthal, Randi Levine (Chair, Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy), and Richard Jonas and Katherine Vernot-Jonas. Meridian’s Board of Trustees, Diplomatic Engagement Advisory Committee, Global Leadership Council and Corporate Council were also well-represented.

Meridian CEO Ambassador Stuart Holliday and Senator William Hagerty (R-TN) provided special remarks acknowledging the ambassadors’ pivotal roles in strengthening international relations. 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.  Senator Hagerty is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and previously served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan.

Attendees were required to complete health forms in advance of the event and Meridian followed all COVID-19 public health regulations and guidelines set forth by the CDC and District of Columbia.

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