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Meridian Institute

Meridian Institute Turns 20 & Leadership Changes

Thursday, January 11, 2018

In 2017, Meridian Institute celebrated its 20th anniversary. As we look back on two decades of connecting people to solve problems, we are grateful for the thousands of people and organizations who have participated in our convenings and contributed to helping solve the increasingly complex and controversial issues facing our world. In the past 20 years, our work on issues such as climate change, tropical deforestation, food security, health and nutrition, and oceans and freshwater has deepened and broadened. Your dedication – your willingness to listen, build trusted working relationships, forge consensus, and implement solutions – has led to lasting impacts. Three examples from 2017 include:
• Announcement of a global faith-based effort to end tropical deforestation by Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Daoist leaders in partnership with indigenous peoples. The formal launch, attended by the King of Norway, was followed by a working session of interfaith leaders and other experts facilitated by Meridian. A key outcome of the meeting was a statement committing participants to the formation of an “international, multi-faith rainforest alliance” that will rally spiritual and religious communities to act for the protection of rainforests and the rights of indigenous peoples.

• “Beta” launch of the Resilience Dialogues, which helps U.S. communities explore their risk from climate variability and change. Through a series of facilitated online conversations, subject matter experts and communities around the United States worked together to take initial steps toward building climate resilience. Meridian serves on the leadership team and coordinated the facilitation of the 2017 dialogue series.

• Full operation of the secretariat of the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), a flagship program of the African Union Commission (AUC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Meridian, the AUC, and the PACA Steering Committee worked together for seven years to create a continent-wide partnership, with significant programs being implemented in six pilot countries. With 14 Africa-based staff, PACA works to raise awareness, share information, build scientific evidence, and develop a scalable model for aflatoxin mitigation. Meridian now supports the AUC and PACA in an advisory role and with contract management.

As the New Year begins, we want to update you on some changes at Meridian that are part of a broader leadership transition as a number of our founding partners are reaching retirement age:

• John Ehrmann is retiring as Managing Partner and handing the mantel to Tim Mealey, who will serve as our Managing Director. John will continue in his role as a Senior Partner and remain engaged full-time in projects.

• Todd Barker is taking on the role of Practice Director. This new position has been created to ensure Meridian remains well positioned to address existing and emerging issues facing our global community and continues to deliver high quality process design, facilitation, strategic planning, and project management services.

• Charlie Taylor, our Chief Operating Officer, is retiring in April. We thank Charlie for his 18 years of service and the immeasurable contributions he has made to Meridian. Stephanie Moore is assuming the new position of Director of Finance & Administration with responsibilities for financial management and accounting, benefits administration, human resources, information technology, and facilities management.
While some of the faces leading our organization are changing, Meridian’s commitment to delivering quality results is unwavering. Our senior staff continue to lead unparalleled collaborative problem-solving efforts, supported by a team with deep expertise in facilitation, mediation, and project management. When you need a trusted advisor and partner to help you harness the power of collaboration, please think of Meridian Institute. We are happy to be of service.