Make Way for New Diplomatic Services

Vanessa Thevathasan (Non-Executive Director) offers a quarterly summary of Grassroot Diplomat's latest activities and innovations for April - August 2018.

Vanessa Thevathasan, Non-Executive Director

Vanessa Thevathasan, Non-Executive Director

It’s been a busy few months at Grassroot Diplomat HQ! Reflecting on my tenure as Non-Executive Director, our CEO Talyn Rahman-Figueroa and her Executive team have taken Grassroot Diplomat forward in big strides. A few years back, I was inspired to join the board as I was attracted to how the organisation prioritised people at the centre of diplomacy and governance. Citizen diplomacy has always been important for bringing attention to accountability where its needed, and in these unpredictable times, civil society across the globe is consolidating the old and creating new movements to challenge regressions to people’s rights.

Grassroot Diplomat provides a critical platform that supports practitioners in responding to local and national issues, while training the next generation of leaders to be dynamic and agile in a complex, disruptive future. This is why I am committed to further strengthening the work of Grassroot Diplomat at board level.

Recruiting New Board Members

Over the past months, we have been busy recruiting new board members with four new openings established. As a member of the Nomination Committee, we are looking for professionals who have experience working in international relations and recognise the role of civil society, governance and diplomacy. If you think you can take Grassroot Diplomat forward and support its strategic aims, please put yourself forward as a candidate.

Our new website showcases the full range of activities and services that caters to students, early career professionals and mid-career practitioners, while our Grassroot Diplomat Talks monthly podcast helps our readers understand the role diplomacy plays at grassroots level. For the first and second quarter of 2018, the team have been assessing the needs of the organisation to help those strategising a career in the world of diplomacy and how dramatic shifts in the status quo will shape our society.

Upcoming Launch of the Brexit Handbook, Online Academy and Diplomatic Planner

Of the most poignant and pertinent projects upcoming is the launch of the Brexit Handbook, which has been in development since 2016. Our Handbook aims to advise diplomats on the management of civil society during this transition phase and ensure that civic engagement remains a priority for those working on behalf of communities in the UK. Targeting practitioners, the team is also developing our new Grassroot Diplomat Online Academy, a membership platform where we create and design resources specifically for those operating in international relations. Even more excitedly, our Diplomatic Planner written by our CEO Talyn will be launched soon. The Planner is a 12-month career toolkit designed for those wanting to get into international relations and diplomacy, which is a popular topic we engage in with fellow practitioners.

Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award

I am also excited for our Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award taking place next year, which will focus on the theme of climate change. The Awards are an important time to reflect on the positive work of leaders in politics and diplomacy that are connecting people’s voices and the needs of social change and policy. We look forward to an inspiring event that highlights governments who are pushing our mantra: “diplomacy starts with you.”

2018 has continued to be one of progress and change at Grassroot Diplomat. As we roll out new products and services over the third quarter, we look forward to hearing your feedback and reaction. Continue to check out our website and social media platforms for the latest updates on our various launch, and we look forward to helping you navigate our changing times.


Vanessa Thevathasan
Non-Executive Director, Grassroot Diplomat