Short Programs. Huge Impact.

Navigating a Global World: Leadership, Strategy, and Diplomacy

Summer 2015
Washington, D.C.


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Program Highlights

Thunderbird and the Meridian Global Leadership Institute have partnered to launch a results-oriented development program for senior executives. The six-day program, which will premiere in Washington, D.C., in January 2014, will enable senior and rising leaders to seize new opportunities in the increasingly interconnected, competitive and complex world of business.

“Those who succeed in the new global business environment must be prepared to reach across geographic, cultural, and sector boundaries to create value for all stakeholders,” said Ambassador Stuart Holliday, President and CEO of Meridian International Center, which includes the Global Leadership Institute. “To compete in broader and more rapidly changing markets, organizations must collaborate with and learn from a wide range of partners and stakeholders in all sectors. That takes new skillsets — new ways of managing complexity, grasping nuances, thinking inclusively, weighing risks, shaping perceptions, harvesting ideas, engaging others, forming alliances, bridging differences, moving quickly, and adapting resiliently. It takes learning in real time, on a perpetual basis.”

The Thunderbird/Meridian executive development program will develop the perspectives and skillsets that today’s global leaders require to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities of the new economy. Through opportunities to engage with those shaping best thinking and practice, along with peers representing multiple industries and cultures, leaders will acquire immediately applicable approaches to developing innovative strategies and growth mechanisms, operating more efficiently, and competing more effectively in both developed and developing economies.

Why Leaders NEED a Global Leadership Program?

By 2040, the projected level of global GDP will reach $200 trillion, a 300% + increase over current levels, with the majority of that growth expected from rapidly evolving emerging markets.  In anticipation of this, businesses of all sizes and in all industries are rapidly adapting business operations and stakeholder engagement strategies to seize opportunities and manage risks. 

The global marketplace has become increasingly complex and competitive, requiring organizations to operate more effectively, compete more efficiently, and engage more strategically with a broad range of global stakeholders—individuals, institutions, governments and the civil society. 

Competing globally means confronting a wide spectrum of rapidly changing operating environments, market dynamics, and political, social, and cultural landscapes. It means contending with new and formidable sources of competition, and connecting with more, and more diverse, customers, suppliers, and stakeholders.

Through this unique global leadership program, leaders will learn how to navigate the complex interplay of economic, political, social, and cultural forces that impact global competitiveness and effectiveness.



A Top-tier Program with Invaluable Executive Content

Highly interactive sessions will address topics including: 

  • Understanding the Next Context for Successful Strategy Creation
  • Building Value by Thinking Differently
  • Addressing the Challenges of Emerging Markets
  • Engaging across Cultures
  • Strengthening Your Geopolitical Risk Management Processes
  • Identifying and Influencing Your Full Range of Stakeholders
  • Shaping Perceptions by Applying the New Rules of Diplomacy
  • Creating Shared Value in Any Market

Participants in Navigating in a Global World will work with Thunderbird and Meridian’s top faculty, distinguished guest speakers, and a stimulating and enriching peer group—leaders from the highest levels of the private and public sectors, as well as representatives of various diplomatic communities. The program will feature these instructional methods, along with networking receptions and dinners, which allow you to engage fully and get the most out of the learning experience: 

  • Case studies
  • Simulations
  • Self-assessments
  • Benchmarking exercises
  • Panel discussions
  • Experiential exercises and approaches


Why Choose Thunderbird and Meridian? 

Thunderbird and Meridian have joined forces to deliver the perfect integration of the best of both worlds – the skills and insight needed to lead across the complex business environment and the increasingly high stakes world of diplomacy.

With a combination of almost 125 years of experience, this program guarantees you a unique experience that blends Thunderbird’s global experience with Meridian’s expertise in public diplomacy. 

About Thunderbird School of Global Management 

Thunderbird is the #1 ranked school of international business, with nearly 70 years of experience in developing leaders with the global mindset, business skills and social responsibility necessary to create real, sustainable value for their organizations, communities and the world. 

In Thunderbird Executive Education, the heart of our business is helping our clients fix issues, or deliver strategic priorities, that they otherwise could not do by themselves. We only help on issues that can be solved by education, and at Thunderbird, our best work is on problems or strategies that have messy global aspects.

Our goal is to offer a whole client experience where our executive participants prepare well, learn new ideas, make sense for their unique context, and embed those new ideas in their work in ways that create value for the organization. This in turn, creates value and prosperity in the communities, societies, and countries within which our client companies operate.

About The Meridian Global Leadership Institute 

Formed in 2012 by Meridian International Center, the Meridian Global Leadership Institute develops the unique organizational and personal competencies needed to compete successfully and contribute effectively in the ever-evolving global environment. Expanding Meridian’s reach to encompass broader business audiences, the Institute will offer executive education and professional development programs, country and regional briefings, conferences, workshops, leadership exchanges, and study tours at Meridian’s Washington, DC headquarters, locations throughout the world, and online. For more than five decades, Meridian International Center’s conferences, briefings, leadership exchanges, and training programs have provided world-renowned forums for knowledge sharing and relationship building. Distinguished leaders from the business, government, and diplomatic communities, as well as emerging leaders from every country, have come to Meridian to learn through exchange, convening, networking, and dialogue. To learn more about Meridian International Center and the Meridian Global Leadership Institute visit

These programs:

  •  improve cross-cultural understanding,

  •  provide necessary tools for navigating the intricate socio-political environment in overseas markets, and

  •  establish a neutral forum for collaboration between cross-sector leaders seeking solutions to complicated issues in their organizations and countries.


Thunderbird and Meridian’s diverse faculty members bring you renowned global business instruction as well as intimate cultural insight you simply won’t find elsewhere. Their consulting experience with companies around the world, coupled with their own diverse heritages, means that your global business instruction is merged with cross-cultural insight. The end result: you’ll interact with the world’s most accomplished global thought leaders and leave the program prepared to lead and drive your own global business success anywhere in the world.

The Navigating a Global World: Leadership, Strategy, and Diplomacy program is facilitated by Professor Kannan Ramaswamy, Ph.D. and Dr. Fruzsina M. Harsanyi, Ph.D.

Pricing Details

USD $9,500

For six-days including the cost of a Symposium to be held on Sunday morning with an opportunity to network with senior executives in the DC area. Price does not include accommodations.

Partnership Pricing & Tuition Credit Program

Learn more about our tuition credit program and partnership pricing discounts for groups. Program fees may also be applied toward tuition for a Thunderbird campus-based degree program.

Request More Information

Please contact us if you have additional questions or would like to learn more.

Adey Zaghab
Executive Education Programs
Tel: +1 602.978.7338
Fax: +1 602.439.4851

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