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Matthew Hughes, Executive Director

Matthew Hughes has been executive director of the International Relations Council since July 2016.

Hughes’ professional experience bridges the education and nonprofit sectors. A K-12 teacher for six years and fluent in Spanish, Hughes has worked with students ranging from age 4 through adult learners. He has developed curricula for schools and nonprofits, is a dynamic trainer and presenter, and has served on the board of several organizations, including the United Nations Association of Greater Kansas City. Matthew relishes the chance to travel and has experience living internationally, including in South America and on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Prior to the IRC, Hughes managed Global Education Programs for People to People International. In this role, he developed a Global Student Fair – attended in its first year by more than 600 elementary students, 350 high-schoolers, and 70 local organizations – to show students just how global Kansas City is. He admires the initiatives, diversity, and enthusiasm of the many international organizations and communities in Kansas City and values opportunities for collaboration.

Hughes holds a Master of Education degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Arts degree in Global & International Studies from the University of Kansas. His thesis discusses “Opportunities for Global-Competence Education in Secondary Extracurricular Programs.” He recently completed a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management & Innovation from the University of Missouri–Kansas City.

Please do reach out with your questions, feedback, or ideas!

Summer 2017 Interns

Luigi Cruz, Social Media & Marketing Intern

Luigi Cruz is a business student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City pursuing a BBA with an emphasis in Marketing. He's held internships at the World Trade Center-Kansas City and Block Labs of H&R Block. Passionate about making his organizations and communities the best they can be, he gets involved through the use of his marketing and leadership skills. He’s motivated by the cumulative success of his teammates and their professional development. Luigi in his free time enjoys visiting new places in KC and likes photography.


Avery Dorsey, Community Intern

Avery Dorsey is a senior at American University in Washington, D.C., studying International Relations with an emphasis in East Asia and a minor in Chinese. Avery is interested in U.S.-China relations, U.S. national security, the South China Sea, and game theory. After graduation he hopes to work for the Department of Defense. In his free time, Avery loves to travel and play basketball. Avery has always had an interest in international studies and is excited to intern this summer with the IRC.




Peter Fortunato, Community Intern

Peter Fortunato is a rising sophomore at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, majoring in International Studies and Statistics. He is also pursuing a minor in Spanish. At Miami, Peter is involved with Model United Nations club, Alexander Hamilton Society, and Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity. While a Boy Scout in Troop 122 in Overland Park, Peter attained the rank of Eagle Scout; his service project built shelving units for Crossroads Academy in Kansas City, Missouri. An avid traveler, Peter has visited eight countries and forty U.S. states. Peter hopes to combine his love for international studies and data analytics while working in the community internship for the International Relations Council.

Jake Janeiro, Digital Resources Intern

Jake Janeiro is majoring in Political Science (with a concentration in International Relations), minoring in Public Policy and Business, and pursuing the Arts Engagement Certificate at the University of Kansas. He completed high school in Medford, New Jersey, but previously lived in Spain and California. At the University of Kansas, Jake serves as the President of the Spencer Art Museum Student Advisory Board, Outreach Director on the Model UN executive board, and Secretary-General of the KU Model UN High School Conference. Through Model UN at KU, he has traveled to Los Angeles, New York, Montreal, and Charlotte to represent KU and countries ranging from Mali to Romania. Jake hopes to work in the public sector, for a non-profit, or for an NGO after graduation to help foster and apply positive public policy.

Liz Orr, Events Intern

Liz Orr is a junior at the University of Kansas double majoring in Global and International Studies and French with a minor in Economics. She recently spent a semester studying abroad in Angers, France. At KU, she is the founder of the KU French Club and president of Pi Delta Phi National French Honors Society. Liz is also a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority in which she has held a number of leadership positions, and has been a part of KU LEAD leadership programs. In her free time, she enjoys singing as a part of the KU choral program. Liz is passionate about global awareness and looks forward to being a part of the International Relations Council.




John Pawlewicz, Membership Intern

John is a junior at the University of Kansas studying Economics, set to graduate in December 2017. After that he plans to attend graduate school to study Finance. He is from Kansas City, Missouri, and attended Bishop Miege High School. John volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters as a mentor, and he spent three weeks last summer volunteering and studying Spanish in Costa Rica. John has a passion for swimming, coaching and swimming competitively throughout his life, and currently holds two school records at Bishop Miege.




Annelissa Taylor, Global Education Intern

Annelissa Taylor is a graduate student working toward earning her Masters of Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has served two years as a Resident Assistant at UMKC and currently works as a data transcriber with the Internal Revenue Service. Annelissa is interested in the interplay between international relations and local and national governance and how to run an effective nonprofit. In her free time Annelissa enjoys photography, cross stitch, and reading about history and urban administration.


Lora Uhlig, Communications Intern

Lora Uhlig is a fourth-year student at the University of Edinburgh, pursuing a degree in International Relations. She is a member of the editorial staff on the university's student-run politics and international-relations journal and an active leader in peer-support groups for international students. Additionally, she is a founding member of a University of Edinburgh chapter of the international charity Women for Women International, serving as secretary on the society's committee. After she graduates next summer she hopes to work in foreign affairs in some capacity, which stems from her strong interest in international affairs along with her experience living abroad. Lora loves traveling and experiencing new cultures and traditions, but she loves coming home to Kansas City and is looking forward to interning with the IRC this summer!

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