Meridian Exchange | June 2021

This month we celebrated the powerful role of the global arts and culture to help heal communities and fix challenges that people around the world are facing. As pandemic restrictions lift in Washington, D.C., we look forward to resuming our in-person events while continuing to create innovative and engaging virtual programs. Read below to learn more about our latest Meridian happenings. 

culturefix Celebration and Awards Ceremony

On June 9, we hosted our inaugural cultural diplomacy celebration, culturefix, which brought together arts leaders like Kal Penn and Carla Canales for conversations ranging from rebuilding the creative economy to the arts' role in global humanitarian issues. We were thrilled to host performers such as Midori and Divinity Roxx for the evening awards ceremony, honoring pianist Jean-Yves Thibault and visual artist Teresita Fernández for their ongoing commitment to using the arts and culture to unite people around the world. This was our first hybrid gathering since March 2020, and it was special and emotional to be able to enjoy the arts in the company of others. Watch the in-person highlights here.

Insights@Meridian with Salman Ahmed

Earlier this month we were joined by Salman Ahmed, Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, for a virtual Insights@Meridian program, during which he discussed the Biden administration and its plan for issues like including climate change, global health, nuclear proliferation and multilateral cooperation to fight COVID-19, as well as investing in diversity and inclusion. Read the full summary of this event here.

Inaugural Virtual Exchange Cohort of PAYLP

On May 25, also known as Africa Day, Meridian launched the inaugural virtual exchange cohort of the Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP), which welcomed 75 youth leaders from 16 countries to explore their leadership skills and ways to make community impact through Community Action Planning: Turning a Problem into a Great Idea. Over the past three weeks, students worked together to assess community needs and develop innovative solutions that bring peers together to address local issues for global impact.

Upcoming Events

Global Business Briefing with
Ambassador of Korea Lee Soo-Hyuck and Congresswoman Young Kim

June 22 | 10:00 A.M. ET

The Meridian Corporate Council along with the Association of Women in International Trade is delighted to host Ambassador of Korea, H.E. Lee Soo-Hyuck, and Congresswoman Young Kim (R-CA, 39) for a conversation about the future of U.S.-Korea relations. For more information, please reach out to Steven Greenwald.

This conversation will be off the record and closed to the press. 

Just Energy: In Pursuit of a Fair Global Energy Transition Balance

June 23 | 11:00 A.M. ET
What does a global energy transition path that delivers across the competing objectives of environmental sustainability, economic development and growth, and energy security and access look like? This conversation will explore this question with The Honorable Dan Brouillette, U.S. Secretary of Energy (2019-2021); The Honorable Ernest Moniz, President and CEOEnergy Futures Initiative/U.S. Secretary of Energy (2013-2017); Her Excellency Anniken Ramberg Krutnes, Ambassador of NorwayHis Excellency Ha Kim Ngoc, Ambassador of Vietnam; and Ms. Vijaya Ramachandran, Ph.D., Director for Energy and Development, The Breakthrough Institute. For more information, please reach out to

Future of China-U.S. Relations and the Global Order

July 20 | 5:00 P.M. ET
Timed to coincide with the 100-year anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party and 50 years since Henry Kissinger’s secret trip to China, The Washington Post’s Josh Rogin will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the U.S.–China relationship through the story of Donald Trump’s high-stakes confrontation with Beijing, chronicled in his new book, Chaos Under Heaven: Trump, Xi, and the Battle for the 21st Century. Rising Leaders Council members Bay Fang, President of Radio Free Asia, and Jonas Parello-Plesner, Executive Director of Alliance of Democracies Foundation, will co-moderate the virtual discussion. For more information, please reach out to Danielle Najjar.This conversation will be on-the-record and open to press.

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