Rising Leaders Council

"The RLC is a unique opportunity to be part of a distinguished, diverse, group of professionals who care deeply about public diplomacy and foreign affairs, engage with one another and the larger Meridian community, and create meaningful programming to spur discussion on pressing global and local challenges."

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Halle Murdock, Senior Associate, Institutional Advancement | hmurdock@meridian.org

Established in 2012, the Rising Leaders Council forms a distinguished network of professionals in their 30s and 40s from diverse sectors and disciplines who support Meridian’s mission of global leadership and non-partisan public diplomacy.

Through Meridian’s core programming capabilities, the Council brings together leaders from the foreign diplomatic community and the public and private sectors to foster a substantive exchange of ideas on foreign affairs, global leadership and diplomacy.

The Council’s salon-style, DC-based events focus on international issues relevant to Meridian and offer guests a neutral forum for exploring these issues, sharing perspectives, and strengthening relationships. Rising Leaders Council events are by invitation only and attendees are selected from Meridian's broad network of cross-sector leaders.

Our Leadership

Our Value Proposition

TIMELY HIGH-LEVEL INSIGHT through forward-looking programs on crucial international trade and economic issues. The Corporate Council has a robust schedule of interactive programs both virtually and on our historic campus.

VITAL RELATIONSHIPS with U.S and global policymakers including international trade experts and foreign diplomats. Council members also engage with distinguished alumni of our international exchange programs which include nearly 200 Heads of State, such as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Indira Gandhi, among others.

NAVIGATE GLOBAL ISSUES in partnership with trade and commerce experts whose work spans all regions of the world on a broad range of topics, from cybersecurity and energy, to global entrepreneurship, purpose-first leadership and women’s economic empowerment.

Annual Benefits

Members benefit from opportunities to engage with the RLC’s over 100-member constituency of professionals, as well as Meridian’s broader network of business leaders, public sector officials, and the international diplomatic community.

  • Invitation to purchase tickets to our annual Cultural Diplomacy Celebration and annual Meridian Ball.
  • Two Foreign Policy and/or Cultural Diplomacy Programs
  • Two Welcome to Washington Receptions for newly credentialed ambassadors
    The Meridian Diplomacy Forum
  • The Meridian Global Leadership Summit
  • The Meridian Holiday Party
  • Two Rising Leaders Exclusive Programs

How to Apply

A one-page letter showing demonstrated interest and experience in foreign policy or international relations, a nomination by a member of the Meridian community, and a resume are required to join this level.

Please contact Halle Murdock, Senior Associate, Institutional Advancement, at hmurdock@meridian.org.

Rising Leaders Council Members

Clara Brillembourg, Partner, Co-Chair, Latin America Practice, Foley Hoag, LLP

Ben Chang, Vice President for Communications and Spokesperson, Columbia University

Lauren Culberston Grieco,

Anastasia Dellaccio, Senior Vice President External Engagement, Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

Lisa Grimes, Personal Chief of Staff, The Honorable Jane Harman

Philip Kao, AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, 

Suzanne Kianpour, Adjunct Senior Fellow, Middle East Security Program, Center for a New Security

Rumbidzai Maweni, Foley Hoag LLP

Kezia McKeague, Regional Director, McLarty Associates

Jessica Miller, Vice President, External Relations, LVMH Inc.

Maryam Mujica, Head of Public Policy, Americas, Booking Holdings

Shilpa Nadhan, Director, Human Rights Policy, The Walt Disney Company

Allison O’Brien, Managing Director, Government Affairs, Oracle

Shellie Purvis, Managing Director, Cogent Strategies

Sharon Russ, Vice President for Business Development, R2C

Christina Sevilla, Deputy Assistant USTR for Small Business

Kara von Dresner Rothschild, Founder & Director, RepublicanShare LLC

Aaron Wodin-Schwartz, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs, Brand USA

Tahera Zamanzada, Vice President, Digital Transformation, ICF

Recent RLC News

Meridian is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and contributions may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.