About the Global Honors Evening
Each year since the early 1980s, the IRC has recognized individuals and organizations for contributions to foreign policy and global affairs, international commerce, or the Kansas City community. In 2019, we are pleased once again to celebrate a range of individuals and groups that make Kansas City a shining global community. The celebration will include cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dessert, live entertainment, special recognitions, and the chance to meet some of Kansas City's most notable and beloved global citizens. This year’s Global Honors Evening will recognize efforts and achievement in the space of global health.
Global health is a field with broad reach and important local implications, including in our Kansas City area. Millions of lives have been positively impacted as access to health and healthcare has expanded thanks to the coordinated efforts of national governments, local communities, and international organizations. Still, significant work remains in our own communities and around the world to combat health disparities and challenges around infant and maternal mortality, chronic and infectious diseases, and the health of immigrant and refugee populations. New, innovative approaches and collaborative efforts in research, health system delivery strategies, and community-based health are essential to equalize access to health for everyone everywhere.
Distinguished Service Award for International Statesmanship – Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D.
Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy
Academic Leadership – Dr. Sarah Finocchario Kessler, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center
Contributions to the Community – Swope Health
Distinguished Service Award for International Statesmanship
The 2019 Distinguished Service Award for International Statesmanship, conferred on dignitaries and thought leaders who have made outstanding contributions in international commerce, diplomacy, and education, will be presented to Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D., Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. As part of receiving the award, Ambassador Birx will also offer an address on the importance and international implications of global health.
Ambassador Birx’s three-decade-long career has focused on HIV/AIDS immunology, vaccine research, and global health. As the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, Ambassador Birx oversees the implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history, as well as all U.S. Government engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Serving as the U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy, she aligns the U.S. Government’s diplomacy with foreign assistance programs that address global health challenges and accelerate progress toward: achieving an AIDS-free generation; ending preventable child and maternal deaths; and preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats.
Past recipients include Richard Myers (2017), Janet Napolitano (2014), Madeleine Albright (2006), John Danforth (2005), Robert M. Gates (2003), Alan Mulally (2001), Robert J. Eaton (1993), and William G. Hyland (1984).
Master of Ceremonies
Lee A. Norman, M.D., is the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), appointed by Governor Laura Kelly. KDHE has three divisions, including Health, Environment, and Healthcare Finance, which includes the Medicaid program (KanCare) and the State Employee Health Plan.
Norman received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota, did his residency in family medicine in Texas and his aerospace medicine training in the United States Air Force at Brooks AFB in San Antonio. After serving in the USAF as a family physician, flight surgeon, and combat medicine instructor, he practiced medicine in Seattle for 20 years, also serving as clinical associate professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Norman has served as a chief medical office for over 26 years, most recently at the University of Kansas Health System and before that the Swedish Health System in Seattle, beginning in 1991. He currently is clinical assistant professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Norman is a past board member and Chair of the Puget Sound Blood Center in Seattle and has served, additionally, on the governing board of Heart to Heart International, a humanitarian organization based in Lenexa, Kansas.
In his military role, Norman is a colonel in the Kansas Army National Guard, stationed at Joint Forces Headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, reporting to the State of Kansas Adjutant General. COL Norman, as the State Surgeon of Kansas, guides medical troop sustainment and training, health services support, force health protection, biosecurity, and serves as advisor and liaison to the Kansas Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. He is an advisor to the Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center. In 2018 he returned from a Middle East US Army deployment where he was the 35th Infantry Division Surgeon. In this role he was the senior medical commander over 12,000 US soldiers encompassing three named operations – Freedom Sentinel, Spartan Shield, and Inherent Resolve.
Additionally, Norman serves on the Defense Health Board as an advisor to the US Secretary of Defense.
Dr. Norman has two masters degrees, one in health planning and systems analysis from the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, and an executive MBA degree from the University of Washington Graduate School of Business. He has two grown children, two grandsons, and an energetic Australian shepherd, Blue Dog. His interests include reading, cooking, canning and pickling, technical mountain climbing, and collecting Eskimo art, including native carvings, masks, etchings, and baskets.
Schedule for the Evening
5:30 Registration and reception with cocktails and appetizers. Meet-and-greet reception for VIP guests.
7:00 Program with keynote by Ambassador Deborah Birx, M.D. – theatre-style seating (no tables)
8:30 Coffee and dessert reception
Individual Tickets & Sponsorship Opportunities
Individual tickets and sponsorships are available. We encourage your business or organization to consider sponsoring this special event, whose proceeds benefit the work of the International Relations Council, at one of the levels below. Thank you in advance for your generous support.
- Platinum Sponsor – $6,000: Logo in mailed invitation, recognition for stage, logo in printed program, printed program ad (full page), name listed on social media, logo on event signage and on screen, logo and link on IRC website for 1 year, 10 VIP tickets (valet parking, premier seating, additional drink ticket), 3-minute introduction of speaker, host private meeting/event with keynote speaker (based upon availability)
- Gold Sponsor – $3,500: Logo in mailed invitation, recognition for stage, logo in printed program, printed program ad (half page), name listed on social media, logo on event signage and on screen, 6 VIP tickets (valet parking, premier seating, additional drink ticket), 4 general admission tickets
- Silver Sponsor – $2,500: Recognition for stage, logo in printed program, name listed on social media, logo on event signage and on screen, 4 VIP tickets (valet parking, premier seating, additional drink ticket), 6 general admission tickets
- Bronze Sponsor – $1,500: Recognition for stage, name listed on social media, name on event signage and on screen, 2 VIP tickets (valet parking, premier seating, additional drink ticket), 8 general admission tickets
- Individual Ticket – $100
- "Table" of Ten (theater-style seating) – $1,000: Includes recognition in the program
Contact Matthew Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org » or 816-423-2632 with any sponsorship inquiries.