Berkley Lecture: National Security Challenges in the Next Decade: Implications for the U.S.
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​The Eliot S. Berkley Lecture was founded in 1996 and brings an expert in foreign policy and global affairs to the Kansas City area. The lecture was established through the Eliot S. Berkley Endowment to honor the International Relations Council’s founder and his decades of service and to provide a platform for engaging community members in understanding critical global issues.

 Export to Your Calendar 2/27/2019
When: Wednesday, February 27, 2019
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Grand Street Cafe
4740 Grand Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri  64112
United States
Contact: April Diaz
(816) 423-2632

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The IRC is proud to present Ambassador Paula Dobriansky as the 2019 Berkley Lecturer.  Amb. Paula Dobriansky is a foreign policy expert and former diplomat specializing in national security affairs. She currently serves as a Senior Fellow in the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard University’s JFK Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.   
From 2010 - 2012, Ambassador Dobriansky was Senior Vice President and Global Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Thomson Reuters. In this position, she was responsible for designing and implementing a corporate approach for engagement in Washington, D.C., and other key capitals around the globe.  During this time, she was also appointed the Distinguished National Security Chair at the U.S. Naval Academy.   
Ambassador Dobriansky served as Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs from 2001 to 2009.  Among her primary accomplishments, she established and led the U.S.-India, U.S.-China, and U.S.- Brazil Global Issues Fora to advance crucial work and international cooperation on environment, energy, health, development, and humanitarian issues.  Additionally, she was head of delegation and lead negotiator on U.S. climate change policy. 
In February 2007, as the President's Special Envoy to Northern Ireland, Ambassador Dobriansky received the Secretary of State’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal, for her contribution to the historic devolution of power in Belfast. During her more than 25 years in national security affairs, Ambassador Dobriansky has held many Senate-confirmed and senior-level positions in the U.S. Government, including Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council, the White House, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Deputy Head of the U.S. Delegation to the 1990 Copenhagen Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and Associate Director for Policy and Programs at the United States Information Agency.  
From 1997- 2001, Ambassador Dobriansky served as Senior Vice President and Director of the Washington Office of the Council on Foreign Relations and was the first George F. Kennan Senior Fellow for Russian and Eurasian Studies. During this time, she also served on the Presidentially appointed U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diploma.

A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy, Ambassador Dobriansky serves on various boards, including IRI's International Advisory Council, the Atlantic Council, Middle East Institute, and IDS International.  She is a Trustee of the Trilateral Commission, on the Advisory Board of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and Chair of the Bush Center's Women's Initiative Policy Advisory Council.  Previous boards include the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, National Endowment for Democracy (Vice Chair), George Mason University Board of Visitors, and the World Affairs Councils of America as Chair of
the National Board. 
She received a B.S.F.S. summa cum laude in International Politics from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Soviet political/military affairs from Harvard University. She is a Fulbright-Hays scholar, Ford, and Rotary Foundation Fellow; a member of Phi Beta Kappa; and a recipient of various honors, such as the Foreign Policy Association Medal for her service to country and leadership of the World Affairs Councils of America and the International Republican Institute's Women's Democracy Network Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Award (2008).  She has received other high-level international recognition including the Commander Cross of the Order of Merit of Poland, Poland's Highest Medal of Merit, Grand Cross of Commander of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas, National Order "Star of Romania," Hungary’s Commander’s Cross Order of Merit, and Ukraine’s Order of Merit. She has also received three Honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters, one Honorary Doctorate of Laws, and one Honorary Doctorate of International Affairs.

Sponsorships Available

Sponsorships of $1,000 are available and include prime seating for one table of ten, logo on the IRC website and event signage, recognition from stage, and a private meet-and-greet with the Berkley lecturer, Amb. Dobriansky. To learn more about sponsorship, email IRC executive director Matthew Hughes at or call at (816) 423-2632. 


Tickets for this event will be $50 (general admission), $40 (IRC members), and $30 (students). Tickets include the cost of lunch. Registration will open soon.