Press Release: Meridian International Center Celebrates the Legacy of the Meridian-Cox Foreign Service Fellowship for Emerging Leaders 


WASHINGTON, D.C. —Meridian International Center proudly commemorates the successful conclusion of the 2024 Meridian-Cox Foreign Service Fellowship for Emerging Leaders. Designed to expand awareness and access to foreign service careers for students from underrepresented communities across the United States, the fellowship aids in shaping future leaders in American diplomacy.  

This fully paid enrichment and training program is a collaborative effort among the Meridian International Center, the Una Chapman Cox Foundation, and Community Colleges for International Development (CCID). 

The Meridian-Cox Fellowship offered 20 undergraduate students a unique and unparalleled insight into American diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service. The program not only spotlighted the essential work of Foreign Service Officers but also equipped fellows with critical soft skills necessary for success in a diplomatic career. Participants gained a deeper understanding of diplomacy and international affairs through site visits, workshops, and networking opportunities, laying a robust foundation for their future careers.  

“This program was a transformative experience that allowed me to learn about the Foreign Service beyond my own independent research. Being able to meet and network with ambassadors, FSOs, CSOs, and other professionals in the industry to the capacity I did in this program is something that I would not have been able to do by myself,” shared Adnaan Elahi from CUNY Baruch College “The week I spent in D.C. put a lot of things in perspective regarding the direction I wanted to take in my career, and I’m so thankful to the staff at Meridian and the Cox Foundation for this opportunity!”  

Reflecting on her experience, Kayla Barral from the University of North Dakota shared: “I can’t express how enlightening this fellowship has been. I entered with a limited understanding of the Foreign Service and emerged with countless new opportunities! This program will remain a pivotal part of my professional journey; it opened so many doors and provided me with invaluable connections.”  

The 2024 inaugural iteration of the fellowship, which took place in Washington, D.C., from June 23 to June 29, and comprised of a comprehensive program designed to immerse participants in the world of diplomacy. Activities ranged from a full day visit to the U.S. Department of State, a site visit to the Embassy of Indonesia, an interactive three-day diplomatic skills training course to panel discussions with Foreign Service representatives and cultural excursions around Washington, D.C. Additionally, the fellowship features virtual workshops both before and after the in-person programming to further enhance the learning experience.  

Drawing upon the Cox Foundation’s dedication to strengthening the U.S. Foreign Service, CCID’s efforts to build pathways to global careers at community colleges, and Meridian’s extensive expertise in leadership and diplomatic training, the fellowship successfully equipped participants with the tools and insights necessary to pursue careers in the Foreign Service.  

Meridian International Center thanks the Una Chapman Cox Foundation and Stephanie, and Mark Robinson for their generous support. Their commitment made it possible to nurture a diverse group of future leaders who are poised to make significant contributions to American diplomacy.  

As this year’s fellowship concludes, Meridian remains steadfast in promoting global leadership and cross-cultural understanding. The Meridian-Cox Foreign Service Fellowship for Emerging Leaders will continue to inspire and empower future generations of aspiring diplomats and further enhance the American foreign policy ecosystem 

For more information about Meridian International Center and its programs, please visit 

For questions, please email

Related News