Center for Politics, Meridian International Center Summit Brings Together Diplomats, Virginia Officials

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA) – The University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Meridian Center for Diplomatic Engagement are hosting 38 diplomats from 37 countries for a summit with 30 state and local officials as well as members of the University of Virginia and Charlottesville community.

The event, “Engaging the American Electorate in the Laboratories of Democracy,” will focus on citizen engagement in state and local government, top local and state political issues in 2019 and 2020, and the value of diplomatic outreach on the state and local level.

The summit will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26, and will be held at the Newcomb Hall Ballroom on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The schedule is as follows:

10:15 a.m. – Introductory remarks by Center for Politics Director Larry J. Sabato.

10:30 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.—A discussion of politics at the state and local level featuring David Ramadan, former member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and Andria McClellan, member of Norfolk City Council.

11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Lunch discussion.

12:40 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Discussion of how to engage with state and local politics as a citizen and diplomat. Charlottesville Vice Mayor Heather Hill will open the session. .

The event is not open to the general public, but media are welcome to attend. Please contact the Center for Politics for more information. It is the product of a partnership between the Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy program and the Washington D.C.-based Meridian Center for Diplomatic Engagement.

The Center for Politics’ Global Perspectives on Democracy Program fosters dialogue between the United States and the international community. In recent years, the GPD program has hosted the ambassadors of diverse nations, such as those from Argentina, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam. The ambassadors of Ireland and Mozambique are scheduled to speak in the Rotunda Dome Room from 3:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on April 2 and April 9, respectively, with registration available at GPD also has hosted 25 different delegations of professionals and leaders from across the world for programs on American democracy.

Tuesday’s summit is part of “Democracy in Perilous Times: Unprecedented Challenges and Controversies,” an ongoing program series organized by the Center for Politics and the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy for the 2018-2019 academic year as part of the National Symposium Series. Information on future programming can be found here.