A trained diplomat, TALYN RAHMAN-FIGUEROA is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Grassroot Diplomat, a global diplomatic consultancy making diplomacy effective for a modern world. As an innovator and a leader in the practices of modern diplomacy, Talyn has been described as a 'change-maker' by the diplomatic corps. Talyn is a heavy-weight networker, working closely with top politicians and diplomats to ensure that governments engage effectively with the public and civil society on a range of sensitive issues. She is leading on high-level branding campaigns with prominent members of the diplomatic corps, writing a handbook on the diplomatic management of the British exit from the European Union (Brexit), and is charged with auditing digital diplomacy engagements of the diplomatic community.
Talyn is an experienced and international award-winning diplomatic and government consultant with board-level experience, and a track record of building robust government relationships for both the private and public sector. Known for being an excellent networker and strategist, Talyn has created a powerful contact list with relationships with Heads of Missions, government officials and global influencers including Desmond Tutu, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former US Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She has over ten years' experience working with various non-government organisations and government bodies, assisting and consulting on high-level projects on business and innovation, public health, trade and investment, and climate change working alongside top leaders with the public and private sector.
Talyn leads on all aspects of the consultation process from conception to implementation, and has trained and advised diplomats from over 20 foreign missions on a one-to-one basis. She is currently managing top professionals of 20+ people across disparate international locations, and developing and delivering highly sensitive campaigns that repairs trust and breaks down stereotypical misconceptions. Talyn completed the delivery of a transition project from public to private ownership, and harnessing strong relationship with influential stakeholders to ensure projects are implemented effectively within wider operational environment. Her biggest asset is managing brand and public relations digital communications on behalf of governments and will be launching a line of self-development toolkits in the practices of international relations as part of her duties at Grassroot Diplomat. This includes the launch of the Diplomatic Leadership Training programme, where Talyn publishes podcasts, short courses, and online webinars on the modern practices of diplomacy for wider civil society.
Talyn was born and raised in London, lived and studied in Japan, Morocco and the United States, and has travelled around Europe, North Africa, America and Asia in various public speaking engagements. She was awarded the Diplomatic Academy of London scholarship in 2010 to pursue a postgraduate in Diplomatic Studies, which she gained a Distinction award, focusing her paper on the slow rise of women in diplomacy in the modern age. She undertook supplementary diplomatic training in Morocco, the European Union Commission, and the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and has now formed her own blend of intensive Diplomatic Leadership Masterclass that combines diplomatic strategy, non-verbal communication and story-telling formulas to teach other leaders. Her education includes a Bachelor's degree in Japanese and Management from the School of Oriental and African Studies and Kyoto University of Foreign Studies and she is familiar with four other languages.
- Board of Director for Yumerise Corp. (digital start-up company), current.
- Acting Chair for the Grassroot Diplomat Nomination Committee, 2013-2017.
- Member of Advisory Board for African Asian Global Scholars Network, 2011-2013
- Executive Board Member of Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, London branch, 2007-2010
- Executive Communications Director for Action for UN Renewal, 2004-2006
- Awarded Human Rights and Democracy McGill Echenberg Fellowship, March 2013
- Named "Young Leader of the Year", Diplomatic Courier, 2012
- Awarded "Channel S Award" for graduate excellence, 2012
- Awarded the "Diplomatic Academy of London" scholarship in 2010
- Jack Petchy Award 2003 for producing documentary on the "Children of Holocaust" filmed in Poland
- Nominated "Student of the Year" in 2003
Talyn is a keen practitioner of crossfit training, boxing and MMA, an avid video-gamer, and is currently completing her action thriller novel under a pseudonym.
The diplomatic entrepreneur who is changing diplomacy in the 21st century.
Areas of Specialisation
Diplomacy — Soft power diplomacy, public diplomacy, grassroots diplomacy, digital diplomacy
Government Relations — Networking, stakeholder engagement, change management, embassy relations, political liaison, digital strategy, public relations
Branding and Communications — Project management, brand nation marketing, strategic communication, corporate social responsibility, digital strategy
Training and Development — Career coaching, personal branding, diplomatic training
"Diplomacy is everyone's business"
Sample of Talyn's projects and published articles within the realm of international relations, diplomacy and foreign affairs.
Women in Diplomacy: Assessment of British female Ambassadors in overcoming gender hierarchy
As a traditionally male domain, existing power structures within the diplomatic infrastructure remain to reinforce gender inequalities and overt discriminatory practices, making it difficult for women to enter diplomacy at the highest position. Using the United Kingdom as a case study, this paper critically examines gender hierarchy as a key problem to the advancement of women, and explores a variety of practical solutions to breaking centuries of patriarchal tradition.
What Brexit Means for Diplomatic Missions in the UK
In the wake of the United Kingdom’s historic decision to leave the European Union, Grassroot Diplomat is calling all foreign embassies in Great Britain to work peacefully, diplomatically, and efficiently in reestablishing themselves in this nation during a time of tumultuous change. In light of these times of uncertainty, Grassroot Diplomat is currently leading a major piece of work to help provide some guidance to embassies and the global diplomatic community in the management of civil society as a result of Brexit. The project will be out soon.
The Only Non-Profit that Serves the Global Diplomatic Community
Established in 2013, Grassroot Diplomat is the first and only diplomatic consultancy that ensures diplomats and embassies are effective and efficient leaders in serving the interest of their people, both at local and international level. We are the only social enterprise that serves the global diplomatic community and all profits will be reinvested in promoting our aims and vision to help us expand our reach to diplomatic missions around the world.