Diplomats, Leaders of Microsoft, Barclays, and the U.S. Department of State Discuss the Changing Dynamics of Power and Leadership at the Meridian Global Leadership Summit, October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013

Media Contacts: Monique McSween | Phone: (202) 939-5882


Washington, DC - On October 18, 2013, more than 200 top leaders from the world's financial, diplomatic, education, government, information technology, and business sectors gathered at the Meridian Global Leadership Summit to discuss the new dynamics of leadership and changing perceptions of power around the globe.

The Global Leadership Summit, which was hosted in partnership with Gallup and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, featured dynamic panel discussions and presentations on Reimagining Power: The Demands for Global Leadership Today and Accelerating Cooperation Through Culture, Commerce and Education by:

  • Mark Penn, Executive Vice President, Advertising and Strategy, Microsoft Corporation;
  • H.E. Ashok Mirpuri, Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to the U.S.;
  • H.E. Eduardo Medina-Mora, Ambassador of Mexico to the U.S.;
  • H.E. Tebelelo Seretse, Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the U.S.;
  • Dr. Tomicah Tilleman, Senior Advisor for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies, U.S. Department of State;
  • Vali Nasr, Dean, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins
  • Mohamed Shafik Gabr, Chairman and Managing Director, ARTOC Group for Investment and Development;
  • Dr. Shaygan Kheradpir, Chief Operations & Technology Officer, Barclays;
  • Tom Monahan, Chairman and CEO of the Corporate Executive Board (CEB);
  • The Lord Palumbo of Walbrook, Chairman of the Jury, The Pritzker Prize for Architecture; and
  • Christopher Schroeder, Entrepreneur and Author of Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East.

In discussions moderated by President and CEO of Meridian International Center, Ambassador Stuart W. Holliday, and Entrepreneur Chris Schroeder, panelists shared their own insights on global shifts in power and leadership, and the instrumental role of technology in escalating the level of citizen involvement in the leadership process, as well as the expectations citizens have of their leaders. According to Barclays’ Chief Operations & Technology Officer, Dr. Shaygan Kheradpir, “There is democratization around the world, because of technology. Now, people can participate in and contribute to decision-making. People are now more confident about their future because democracy is proliferating – and it is all because of increased access to technology.”

The contributions of panelists were contextualized by Gallup’s Global States of Mind: New Metrics for World Leaders which was released by Gallup CEO Jim Clifton. The report captures key findings from over 160 countries on what citizens think of their leadership. In his presentation, Mr. Clifton pointed to the core findings of the report by stating that - “What people want around the world has changed over the years. A long time ago, people wanted peace, freedom, and families. Now, people around the world want good jobs, and this has changed everything, including when people get married, if they get married, and if they have children. It also impacts the decisions we make as leaders – because if we make decisions on the wrong premise, things will only get worse.”

This year, Meridian introduced a new interactive feature to the Global Leadership Summit with Microsoft’s Bing Pulse Technology. Described by Mark Penn as an “instantaneous rating experience,” Bing Pulse allowed participants to vote on issues in real time as they are being discussed by the panel.
A key highlight of the Summit was the presentation of the Meridian Corporate Leader Award to Chairman and CEO of Moët Hennessy, Christophe Navarre. This distinguished award recognizes exceptional business leaders whose vision and management acumen have helped their companies succeed in a global marketplace, increased international collaboration, and made societal impact a corporate priority. Mr. Navarre was honored for his outstanding vision, which has impacted the growth of Moët Hennessy and taken the company and its brands to every corner of the world; as well as his dedicated interest in promoting France-U.S. relations and establishing stronger cultural, economic, and political ties between the two nations.

The 2013 Global Leadership Summit set the stage for the continued work of Meridian in bringing the world’s leaders together. As stated by Ambassador Stuart Holliday, “This Summit is the only forum of its kind where global leaders come together to discuss how people view their leaders, and how those leaders confront challenges on local and global levels. Meridian’s core mission is to provide leaders with a neutral forum for creating shared value. We believe that the best solutions are born from bringing people, communities, and cultures together.”

Following the Summit, the high-level networking and relationship-building will continue at the Meridian Ball, which takes place the evening of October 18th. Now in its 45th year, this year’s Ball is presided over by Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama; Congressional Co-Chairs Senator Roy Blunt and Mrs. Abigail Blunt, and Congressman John Delaney and Mrs. April McClain-Delaney; Honorary Sponsor Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall; Ball Chair Dalia Mroue-Fateh and White-Meyer Chair Britlan Malek.

The Ball will be attended by members of the diplomatic corps, policymakers, members of the U.S. Congress, prominent media figures, and representatives from the international business and cultural communities.

Corporate Sponsors for the Meridian Global Leadership Summit and the 45th Annual Meridian Ball include: Chairman’s Circle, Moët Hennessy and Turkish Airlines; Ambassador’s Circle, Chevron, Gallup, and Genentech; Diplomat’s Circle, Barclays, The Coca-Cola Company, DLA Piper, and FedEx Express; and Linden Circle, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Caterpillar, ConocoPhillips, Lockheed Martin, Phillips 66, and Walmart.

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About Meridian International Center
Meridian International Center, founded in 1960, is a leading non-partisan, not-for-profit institution dedicated to strengthening international understanding and global engagement. Meridian works with the U.S. State Department and U.S. embassies worldwide to create lasting international partnerships through leadership and cultural exchanges. Meridian also connects U.S. and foreign governments with the private sector to respond to global challenges and sustain impact.
Meridian’s mission is to create innovative exchange, education, cultural, and policy programs that advance three goals:

  • Strengthen U.S. engagement with the world through the power of exchange
  • Prepare public and private sector leaders for a complex global future
  • Provide a neutral forum for international collaboration across sectors

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