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On International Women’s Day in 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama remarked that, “Empowering women isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.” Just last month Germany became the latest nation to institute a mandatory requirement for the number of women in supervisory board positions, joining such countries as Norway, Iceland, Spain, France, Italy and Belgium with boardroom quotas ranging from 30-40 percent. By comparison, currently about 19 percent of board seats at U.S. stock index companies are held by women. The numbers are moving in the right direction, and the quotas mandated throughout Europe have opened the door, but the business potential is the greatest case for gender diversity on corporate boards.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 07:02

Fallujah Redux: Book Review

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For several weeks in late 2004, U.S. Marines pushed their way through Fallujah, fighting street-by-street, house-by-house, room-by-room. In that desert city, on the banks of a polluted Euphrates River, they experienced some of the heaviest urban combat the Corps had seen since the Battle of Hue City, Vietnam, in 1968.

Emerging markets have never mattered more to Western multinationals. They have also never been more difficult to navigate. With the global fragmentation of political and economic power, corporations face greater uncertainty and rapidly diversifying sources of risk. Emerging markets are producing formidable new competitors and are also starting to rewrite the global rules of business. At the same time, MNCs’ home governments and established relationships are less useful than they once were when entering new markets. Faced with this complex new reality, multinationals must increasingly look to themselves to solve problems and generate opportunities.

Although we are a long way from having a designated day recognizing acute respiratory infection prevention and awareness, respiratory tract infections come second in the global burden of disease rankings after heart disease and are the second most common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. But, unlike heart disease, acute respiratory tract symptoms account for the vast majority of antibiotic prescriptions. Unfortunately, most of these antibiotic scripts are given empirically, without the proper medical evidence, and are thus unnecessary.

The Ambassadors’ Forum is a joint initiative of Diplomatic Courier magazine, Meridian International Center, and the Council of American Ambassadors. The Series captures the views of Ambassadors from around the world on the critical role of diplomacy in addressing current global challenges. In this issue, Meridian’s President Ambassador Stuart Holliday interviews Ambassador Claudio Bisogniero, Ambassador of Italy to the United States on the occasion of the opening of Expo Milano 2015 this May.

Inch by inch, the proverbial ivory towers at research institutions around the world are being remodeled to make way for a new era of university-business partnerships.

In the US and around the world, job creation has been and continues to be a major focal point of education policy discussions. With unemployment reaching 30-year highs during the Great Recession, this focus seems warranted. As the US and global economies have pulled out of recession and begun to soar, we must not lose sight of the driving force behind the innovation that ensures economic prosperity: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). As a planet, we will confront challenges in the coming decades that will require unprecedented innovation and we need the best and the brightest among us to take on these challenges. We need more STEM graduates to ensure a bright future for generations to come.

In 2012, Global Action Platform conducted the first global summit to frame issues for the agenda of ExpoMilano2015. Opening with an assessment of food issues from the World Bank, the inaugural program examined food production, climate, logistics, nutrition/diet, the culture of food, and ended with a keynote from Thomas Friedman of the New York Times. The global dialogue on food launched at the Summit in 2012 has continued annually since then and has now become an ongoing collaboration to build scalable, sustainable solutions for abundant food, health, and prosperity.

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure to participate in the largest U.S. investment summit ever convened, Select USA. Investment delegations from over 70 international markets intermingled with U.S. business representatives all in the name of doing business, building strong networks and creating jobs.

At American University in Washington, DC, students, emissaries, and a captivated audience gathered on April 11. Celebrating the recent establishment of the Carmel Institute of Russian Culture and History (CIRCH), a symposium and reception were held to examine the history of U.S. – Russia relations. Titled The Strength of Cooperation: Lessons From the Grand Alliance 1941-1945, through intimate anecdotes and stories from World War II, as well as observations of current situations, the gathering provided a doorway to the past and hope for the future. With the opening of the Institute, both the United States and Russia aim to promote continued exchanges of students and culture between the two nations.

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